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Silkroad Online: Correspondent - Bots in Silkroad

New Silkroad Correspondent Lewis Buckley pens this article about his experiences with and opinions of the bot problem that exists in Silkroad Online.

What is a bot? Well, I describe it as the illegal use of a standard player account in an MMORPG. Throw in a little automation, and you have a description of what many feel is the scourge of the MMO industry.

So, with Silkroad, where and why did it start? Could the purpose of such scripts be put to a real use within the game itself as a user function, or are most of the auto-bots merely for amusing anarchists, the people who like to annoy other people?

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What do we know? Well, for starters most bots are used for help in levelling up player characters without having to sit in front of the PC playing the game for long periods of time, which of course none of us enjoys too much every time we get to that magical 99% then level, and as we celebrate getting to that 0%, realise that we have to go through all that time consumption all over again...and again..and again. Can this be a user feature? What else are these scripts used for?

Okay, enough with the ultra formal speech, I’m going to talk to my good friends reading this like friends. We all read those articles on other websites where they are all too well verbal and you’re wondering what they are talking about. So, let’s cut to the chase and talk about this.

The main problems, the problems that make the whole point of hatred towards these things, are not the fact they are illegal (or at least against the game‘s EULA), nor the fact that someone is just being lazy. But the point is that they are interfering with real Silkroad users trying to experience something they enjoy. How many times have you been training, just trying to bump up that percent a bit, maybe a lot and some right .. let’s just say “annoying person” comes along and booms away your kill in one shot and takes all the EXP away from you? Then they do it again. And yes, again. Not only that, but the other problem is that they are daylight robbing our server space. Do you remember about half a year ago when you tried to log on and could never get on for hours? And even now during the day, it can be difficult to get on. That’s thanks to the bots.

I know some or more of you out there are thinking, “This guy is wrong, that’s not all what bots are for”, I know. Bots are mainly used for money. All those bots in Jangan, Donwhang, Hotan etc etc all flooding the text box with advertisements for websites with Silkroad gold for sale. Also ,there are the bots that are programmed to kill, pick up the money. Kill, pick up the money. Kill, pick up the money. And the people that own those bots have other bots, previously discussed, to advertise that picked up money for sale, for real cash. And there are those bots that just train and train to get to a high level, so that bot can take out real people’s characters to power level to a high level in an auto-share party. People sell this opportunity to people for real cash. From reading this you can tell that I’m out of breath, as it just sounded like one big rant. To be perfectly honest, it could well be. There are selfish people using our experience on this online game for their own greed.

Since Silkroad first started in November 2005 for beta testing, bots really haven’t been “too much” of a problem. But of course it has gotten progressively worse. Joymax has been trying to solve this problem for some time, they even brought in verification codes on the log in screen to throw the bots off. But no, they even got around that. They seem like those flies you can’t get out your room when it’s been a hot night and you left the window open and the light on.

Recently, it has been a lot better for two reasons: First, Joymax basically gave in and increased server space instead of getting rid of these things. It’s not entirely their fault, maybe it is a lot more difficult to get these “things” away. And the other is Joymax having a huge emergency check, not on Aege, not on Greece, but they shut down every single server and checked them. After checking, realising what the bots are, and banned the bot accounts permanently. In one day, getting rid of a massive 11,000 bots. One point to the real users, zero to the bots. Now we all know for a fact that if Joymax keeps dealing with this matter like that more often, the whole situation will resolve itself over time as the people who use the bots will eventually give up if every time they get the bot on it gets kicked off. Basically, it’s like trying to resist a good chocolate cake when you’re trying to keep strict to a diet.

If you’re wondering how to look out for bots, how to avoid them and what to do, you have come to the right place. Bots always have stupid, mashed up, random, auto-created names, such as, “ahgofihgf“. Another is; if you see these random names, go to a different area to train, avoid any areas with these bots, as they will just steal your EXP, your kills and your dignity... okay maybe not your dignity, but they might as well just take that too. If you are serious about helping Joymax, report the bots to them. I’m sure that even if they can’t instantly ban the bot, it will help them to know what to look out for.

Thanks for reading and hopefully there will be a lot more where that came from!

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