I watch this discussion from the begginning. It is very interesting and so I've decided to add my 2cc as well.
1. What hits me.. our AoP is very tolerating and reasonable in this discussion while some players.. well.. not quite so. I am very glad of that, it would be much worse if it was oposite
Good job, Cherek!
2. IMHO we have 2 cases of real boting (toliet breaks etc. do not count):
(A) Solo script-boting.
The player is not present at the computer, but his character walks and kills. Sounds like REAL botting, but IMHO it is not such a big deal. For safety, it would require killing only small mobs, tones of them, for hours and hours. It brings big risk of being recognized as a bot, easily killed or reported by others. Big risk, small profit.
And as I mentioned in the begginning I do not mean 15 mins breaks or so. I do mean leaving a character for disposal of a friend(s) for hours. It is in fact like double-login, just phisically the characters are logged on different machines. In practice - no big difference. It is safe (because a leader cares about safety) and it is HUGE exp, because in a good team they do not kill small creatures. They can effectivelly clear whole exping areas. BIG possibilities lie here, potentially one good leader can have several big teammates at disposal, they possibly can kill every NPC, get any peace of eq, be a nightmare for PVP opponents, etc. In the end.. is is very easy to script.
THIS is IMHO what should require attention.
I must mention, that the combination of (A)+(B) is also possible, but it wouldn't work without (B). If it was without (B) it would be just mere (A).
3. Idea of zero exp for 10% smaller creatures.
It is the obvious way to eliminate 100% (A) cases, but is it worth it? I feel these (A) cases aren't such a big deal, they are easy to catch anyway. From the other hand it really hurts alot of others: it hurts solo players, it hurts those who do not like to grind in the obvious grinding areas, who prefer to explore, grind in non-obvious places, RP-grind like clearing the cities or villages, etc.
4. The idea of removing levels higher than champion.
I am quite surprised noone said anything againtst. So lemme..: please don't do it! I am still a champion, but I would love to be a legend one day, I'd love to be a myth one day, don't take it away from me! I love to watch and count my levels, progresses, etc. More, I strongly believe, that different ways of measurements, parameters and widely understood character building/improving is a big part of any RP game. It is alot of fun and I see no reason to do a step back and make it poorer than it is.
And it for sure has nothing to do with the botting issue.
Well, that'd be my 2cc,