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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Runescape: Bot Nuking Day and the Aftermath

Note:  No pretty pictures this time.  Just me talking.  If you're easily bored, this will certainly trigger an attack of boredom:

Well, I wasn't going to write specifically about this... but it's much bigger than I realized it was going to be.  Yesterday, 10-25-2011, was Runescape's Bot Nuking Day.  I had high hopes, but no actual frame of reference.  The scale of this event is astounding.
In advance, I was pretty pleased at the prospect of removing bots.  I hate botting in Runescape.  Aside from the practical effects on the economy, and availability of resources, I just hated the cheating in general.  Real players have worked hard for every skill they have, every reward they've earned, every rare drop they've fought for.  It seriously cheapens the value of our hard work to have someone leveling, harvesting, getting rich, all without actually playing.

So yes, I'm thrilled.  And you know what?  I'm kind of vindictive about it.  This is odd for me... I'm normally too nice for my own good.  After 50 years of being nice, it's a hard habit to break.  But in this case, I'm making an exception.
Glad.  Glad, glad, glad... happy happy glad glad.

And another thing?  Did you know some of these bots are sold?  For real money!!  Can you imagine?  I don't know what a typical cost would be, but I heard of one that costs $350...  Dang.  Can you even imagine paying that kind of money for playing Runescape?  And not even acutally playing.
Let me put this into my own twisted perspective:  Someone signs up for Runescape, as a member.  So they're paying for the privilege of playing, right?  Then they turn around and shell out big bucks for a bot to play for them.  Are they even having fun?  What's the point in PAYING to play a game, then PAYING someone else to play it for them?  Maybe you could PAY someone to eat supper for you?  Or to get a good night's sleep for you?

Okay, I do get the point that most of them don't play for fun, rather they farm resources for gold, which they sell real-world.  Shady.  Images of mafia underworld, and overseas child labor factories.  Lets keep organized crime and child abuse OUT of our game.

From another viewpoint, consider the script-writers who make their money selling illegal scripts.  Hmmm, do you think they'll be issuing any refunds?  They certainly aren't working from a foundation of honesty and integrity.  I suspect any fool who paid them money is not going to see that money back now that the bots are broken.

That's a good penalty.  Lesson learned, maybe.  For some, anyway.  I'm guessing the majority won't see the error of their ways.  They'll just keep looking for ways to cheat.  I sure hope this event will drive the bot-writers out of business.  I also hope to see Runescape pursue legal action as they've threatened to do.

My one concern is that Jagex may lose a lot of income with this bold move.  I have a ton of respect for them, and seriously hope they don't suffer financially because of it.

From reaction on the forums, it seems many other players share my exuberance.  And of course, many don't.  The forums are certainly lively right now.  Especially with buzz about the legal notice Jagex emailed many suspected botters.  It was pretty much a last chance, straighten up and we'll grant amnesty, keep botting and we'll sue you.  I'm no lawyer, and the forums are chock-full of players who think they are.  So I won't be pontificating about the legals aspects of this letter, and the rights of the poor, abused and misunderstood botters.  All I'm going to mention is actual Right and Wrong, which many players (probably children, for the majority) don't seem to comprehend. 

We all have our stories to tell.  I solo Dungeoneer a lot, so yesterday didn't get to see the result of the bot-nuke.  But today I logged in during breakfast.  I like to fish shark while I eat.  It's easy, doesn't require full attention, and I can manage breakfast while playing.  Using Barbarian techniques to fish, makes it bare-handed, so all I carry is a skills necklace to teleport to the fishing guild, and a kinship ring to get back to Dungeoneering.
Usually the docks are elbow to elbow, and players stacked on the shark harpoon spots.  This morning?  Ghost town.  Nobody.  Just me and Man(level 2) on the docks, the whole morning.  Wow.
Similar story for Monique.  She went to the Kalphite lair to collect some potato cactus... and NO bots, nobody else, at all.  She could collect at her leisure, without competing for a limited resource.  It's made the game SO much nicer.  She just read a post by someone else who went into the essence mines and there was nobody there.  Just the empty sound of echoing footsteps...

I expect a financial impact, as well.  Prices of just about everything will probably rise sharply, then taper off to it's natural level.  Yes, it'll make buying things more expensive.  But it will also make the results of our hard work more valuable.  If I fish a few thousand shark and sell them, hopefully I can actually sell them for enough to be worth my time.

Let's not forget Jagex kicking off a whole multi-day celebration of player rewards and events.  In recognition of the immensity of the event, for the next several days there are extras and bonuses.  Yesterday was triple Slayer experience.  Got my 99 while earning Baby Jad, but Monique took as much advantage of it as she could.  Sometimes real life gets in the way of fun, but she made a good effort.
Today, if I remember right, is Castle Wars bonus.  Tomorrow, Thursday, is double penguin points.  Even better, it's a new reset, so if you already did them for the week, you get to do the penguins again!  Not to mention, several other distractions and diversions will give boosts.  Evil Trees, Mining, Familiarization.
Finally, Friday will be triple experience for Soul Wars.  I've wanted a second Baby Jad for my house menagerie.  This would be a great time to earn some Soul Wars Zeal.

All told, there's quite a carnival going on this week, all because of the bot-nuking initiative.  Yay Runescape.  Good job.

In the near future, will bots make a comeback?  I hope not.  At least, not to the extreme they had been.  And what will the near-and-long term effect on the game be?

Who knows.  Like I said, the practical aspects are nice, but I'm mainly excited at the prospect of not living in a bot-filled Runescape.  At least for now, any competition will be from real players.  Any crowding will be actual people.  Cheaters won't prosper.  I hope they choke on it.

Happy happy joy joy.  Nyah Nyah.

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