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How about putting it into the open to discuss instead? 
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An apparition of Cherek appears before you.
He tells you: We're testing a new approach to this
He tells you: We want player feedback on it.

Ok - so let's see what that is about. Consider the below as player feedback. I tried to approach this with some logic, which you may be missing.
An apparition of Cherek appears before you.
He tells you: Half your team is clearly afk

That is not an issue as long they don't fight while afk. That's the rules you set out yourself. You confirm this yourself too:
He tells you: If you had been fighting for the 13 min X was afk, (and Y even longer) then you would have been botting.

You don't have kids, especially toddlers, do you? I suppose you don't, but am quite confident (based on the above approach) you can't have them. As opposed to every single member of the team you met in this encounter.
He tells you: The idea is to somehow combat the most common way of botting,
that is one active leader leading around a team of afk people. It seemed like
both X and Y was afk in your team this time for example.

Now why were they not fighting ... let's see.
A huge boulder blocks the path in that direction.
You hear a whispering voice: 'None shall pass this huge boulder until my
puzzle is solved! My puzzle is: I have the heads of 11 elves, 9 humans and 3
trolls. How many heads do I have?
Give the correct answer by <answer (number)>.

Basically you place something that stops team members from entering a kill ground, which means they can NOT be accused of botting because they will NOT fight because they will not arrive at their kill ground. Which means you just created a nuisance for all to find a way to "suppose some people who don't pass the boulder may have been botting ... if they did get past the boulder to enter combat". Catch 22. Love it! Confirmation below:
He tells you: Yes everyone. :) No, you were not botting now. I am just saying if
you HAD been fighting with two members in your team afk for awhile, then you
would have been
He tells you: The intention of this new idea is to catch those who drag around
people who are afk for long times, but obviously we want to make it as little
annoying as possible for everyone els

You failed. Also some clarification, as the word "you" can mean both singular and plural in english: if the leader would be fighting with his team members afk, then the leader is NOT botting. The team members are IF they are in combat.
He tells you: Being active should be rewarding, while not being actives hould
not be rewarded. Not its kind of the opposite in many places.

You just created an added nuisance for everyone - a boulder which is NOT rewarding to anyone.
You could give small boosts (+1-5% exp gain for 5 min? 1-2% health leech for the team for 10 min? 1-5% haste for the team for 10min? whatever - that IS rewarding) for confirmed activity while grinding. You could make the exp reward smaller over time for failing to confirm activity while grinding. But you just added a nuisance to pass for all and you call it a reward if they do. You should become a politician.

Now what sort of behaviour are you supporting with this? Hmmm - multilogging BUT active at the keyboard. So yeah - you prefer a single person actively playing several chars at the same time, over multiple players playing their own chars sometimes inattentively. If that's a concious decision the admin is making ... whatver suits you. It's your game - not the players'. You confirm this attitude times and times again.

To add a cherry on top:
He tells you: In theory yes? Harassment to me is if you target someone for
absolutly no reason, or because you hate them iRl and want to drive them from
the game, etc, or other obvious things

Who and how can make it "obvious" that they are bent on driving someone away from the game? I'm asking, cause I have been on the receiving end of this shit quite a few times. You usually expect "proof" from me when I suggest someone is cheating/abusing. So please elaborate (and try to be informative, not quantitative) on how a player can "prove" that s/he is being harassed according to the above mentioned definition.
Also - what are those "other obvious things"? I'm curious really. They SHOULD be named and placed into rules.

10 Dec 2015 10:37
Site Admin
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Joined: 04 Mar 2010 01:14
Posts: 270
We should be improving the game, not complaining about how people decide to play it.

10 Dec 2015 11:04
cotillion wrote:
We should be improving the game, not complaining about how people decide to play it.

I keep saying: incentivize the behaviour you feel is best for the game! It's that simple.

10 Dec 2015 11:14

Joined: 06 Mar 2012 00:14
Posts: 1397
A good way to check imo, stop beeing 100% afk, only move when you're actually at the keyboard and it wont be a problem, thats an easy enough puzzle to solve so whats the problem?
Wait for your teammates if they are afk, had this been done much earlier we wouldnt have as many megamyths as we do now

10 Dec 2015 13:05
Looks like Cherek's idea worked to prevent cheating. Am I capturing this scenario correctly?

Someone is leading two afk people.
They can't enter a killing ground, because they're afk.
The team is prevented from cheating.

Looks good to me. Their intention was to cheat.

I'm not sure how possible that is to apply to everywhere people kill. That would be my concern. Is it fair to block only the grounds you're blocking? Is it effective? I'd say it was this time, but the worst offenders are fully capable of scripting a response.

I would make this a mobile, dynamic texted trap that you lay. You insert it only when you're ready to catch cheaters. You adjust the text dynamically before so a script won't be ready for it. Any team attempting to enter a killing ground whose afk members can't respond to it for long periods like the above team are guilty of attempting to bot. You initiate the appropriate level of penalty prescribed in the help on botting. In that regard, and by the cheaters' own logs above, you are within your mandate to apply penalty to this team. If you didn't, that was lenient of you.

An additional idea is to let the team into the killing ground and then set the dynamic trap on the way out. If the team members are afk when the leader finishes the ground and moves on, they'll get stuck, and again you'll have proof they just botted. That's even more incriminating as it goes beyond intent and proves the rule was broken.

10 Dec 2015 14:41
Emraht wrote:
Any team attempting to enter a killing ground whose afk members can't respond to it for long periods like the above team are guilty of attempting to bot. You initiate the appropriate level of penalty prescribed in the help on botting.

Please quote the rule that says "attempting to enter a killing ground while afk" is against the rules and which penalty should be applied.
It's not. Only IF they enter the killing ground and kill while afk - only then it's botting. That's what I am saying.

10 Dec 2015 14:48
Rising Hero
User avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2010 01:23
Posts: 334
I think you should set them randomly in the exp grounds, and if someone isnt answering got cutting stats by half per 5s. I am sure botters will die quite quickly in 10s :) That will definitevely solve bot problem and then you can shut the game :)

10 Dec 2015 14:54
User avatar

Joined: 04 Mar 2010 17:54
Posts: 749
Or, you could turn it around; They placed something that stopped potential-bots from getting hammered. ;)

Though, it's a clear case of attempted botting, even if there is no rule against it.

Teammembers being afk for _some_ minutes may understandable, but when it stretches closer to for example an hour? The teammate is clearly being dragged around and powerleveled, increasing in size without even playing the game. For many, that is considered unfair, and cheating.

Might and Glory flaming for changing dawn, ancient power revealed of an iron crown, clear and cold and shining so far and bright, crush the world in one clash of your binding light.

Gû kîbum kelkum-ishi, burzum-ishi. Akha - gûm-ishi ashi gurum!

10 Dec 2015 15:21
Kas wrote:
Or, you could turn it around; They placed something that stopped potential-bots from getting hammered. ;)

I appreciate you see the logic there, but I think the intention stated by Cherek was different though.

10 Dec 2015 15:28
Site Admin
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Joined: 04 Mar 2010 04:36
Posts: 2550
Okay Laurel. We can absolutely discuss it openly. That was the intention in the first place, to try something out and get player feedback, and then tweak the idea. Or throw it out if it does not work.

So this is the full story:

Yesterday after an AoP team meeting where we discussed all sorts of things, Nerull had an anti-bot idea he wanted to test. I agreed to try it out, for a very limited time in one popular grinding area, Mithas trolls. So Nerull coded that boulder as a beta test, or alpha test rather, and put it in the game a little while to test. The first team to arrive there was a team with Irk, Jar, Logg and Calof.

The boulder (not very thematic, YET), has a simple number riddle you need to pass before being able to enter a specific area. That's all there is. Irk and Calof solved the riddle instantly. Jar and Logg was AFK though and could not, which prevented the entire team to enter the killing grounds until they returned. Jar eventually returned after 13 minutes to answer the riddle. Logg never did and after quite some time waiting, the team eventually left the area to drop off Logg in the guild, and then later returned without him and started fighting trolls.

So no, nobody was technically botting yesterday. Had they entered the killing ground and started killing though (we don't know if they would have, but it sure seemed like that was their plan since it's what they did after dropping off Logg), then they would have been botting. Jar and Logg that is. Although KNOWINGLY dragging around people who are not at the computer should probably be included to botting rules? That's something to consider, since that is really cheating too?

Anyway, so that's what happened. The boulder is an alpha test to try an alternative to monitoring and testing people who bot. Which is something nobody in the AoP _enjoys_ doing, and not something most players enjoy either. A TEST. Nothing else. Will this be a permanent part of the game? Not in it's current state. Has it potential to be a useful addition to the game? Yes I think it has. It needs to be thematic, and not feel annoying to players who don't bot though. If we can make it feel like a natural part of the game, I think it would be helpful for people who do not bot. Then they would know that others in the area do not bot either, which I think would cause less irritation between players.

I completely agree with Cotillion that we should be improving the game, not tell people how to play it. Which is exactly the idea here. Instead of having rules and a bot-police (which is no fun for anyone), this is a first attempt to design something that might be part of the game, and if successful maybe at some point we don't need botting rules, as the game prevents botting. Or even better, rewards activity more than botting. This is one first simple step of trying something like that out. That's all.

As for Laurel's log above, that's a few quotes of things I said during an hour-long discussion with Irk after his encounter with the boulder. The above is a very small part of it, and some of the things obviously would make more sense had they not been taken out of context. Still, I get it, posting a one hour log would not make sense either.:) I And I definitely stand for everything said yesterday to Irk, and I thought it was a good discussion.

So please everyone. Try not to be confrontative and assume we're trying to mess up the game when discussing this. I think your idea of rewards for activity is interesting Laurel, for example.

If you want a serious and open discussion, that's fine. I've told you everything about it now. Please be serious and open yourselves too. Neither Jar nor Logg has contacted me saying they had a toddler emergency yesterday, and the action by the team really makes it seem like they were _going to_ bot, but were prevented by the boulder to do so. If they can convince me that wasn't the case. Fine. But if they never intended to bot in the first place, I don't see the annoyance over the boulder either?

I totally GET dragging around people AFK. People do it. I understand that. Question is, should it be okay or not? Should we have rules against it? Or should we code things against it? Or should we simply allow it? And the same questions goes for running scripts unattended of course.

10 Dec 2015 16:55
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