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How can we discourage botting?

zbizu

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Is this from rl? whatever it is, it would be funny to see on rl today, with cheaters being up to and over lvl 1000, it could take years to die on the fields.

I think it was some poh/jakundaf/hellgate spot you had to use destroy field rune + pick to escape

edit: my bad, it wasn't.
 
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118509473_1792295370918024_2488431038079318262_n-jpg.52058
1 of tibia's finest
 
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pink_panther

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Is this from rl? whatever it is, it would be funny to see on rl today, with cheaters being up to and over lvl 1000, it could take years to die on the fields.

Reminds me of an idea I have for punishing botters while they're afk, without them knowing. I could teleport them to an exact replica of my map, just without any functioning npcs/depots and change their temple ID. Kind of like a full scale jail.
It was the old bot jail from back in the day. GMs tped cheaters here.

I've actually readded this location to my Ots as a form of punishment for botting.

botjail.png
 
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Silba

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I spam it everywhere I go, monsters should have a (hidden) level that rewards you when you kill a higher "level" monster and punishes you if you kill a lower "level" monster.
It has so many pros and so few cons that I really do not understand why it's not widely implemented (outside of tibia scene many mmos - and not just them - use this system).
I think that would risk taking away the essence of tibia. A minotaur always gives 50 exp and always has the same loot irregardless of who has killed it. I certainly don't like the idea, but i'm quite oldschool before all these exp boosts and such. Besides, this already does exist in a softer way, 50 exp and the same crappy loot is not relevant to someone that is too high level.
It was the old bot jail from back in the day. GMs tped cheaters here.

I've actually readded this location to my Ots as a form of punishment for botting.

View attachment 52080
That's pretty cool, thanks!
 
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I think that would risk taking away the essence of tibia. A minotaur always gives 50 exp and always has the same loot irregardless of who has killed it. I certainly don't like the idea, but i'm quite oldschool before all these exp boosts and such. Besides, this already does exist in a softer way, 50 exp and the same crappy loot is not relevant to someone that is too high level.
I also feels that way about the same creature giving different experience points for different players. I have an issue because of this.
The mathematical models of my OT showed me that, in order to balance the whole thing, I had also to change the formula for experience required to get each level. I did that, but the formula for experience was also in the client, so the client was showing wrong values for levels (by that time OTClient hasn't arrived yet and even now I am not sure if I would like to use an edited version of the client).
So I had to translate the real experience of a player into the number expected by the client (for example, if my OT requires x_1 points of experience for a certain level and Cipsoft's formula says that the same level requires x_2 points of experience, then my server has to send for the client the value x_2, instead of x_1).
It worked fine, but brought me an issue. A given monster always give the same amount of experience to player no matter his level, but the conversion might result in a different gained experience for players killing the same creature. So players might feel that there is a boost/nerf based at levels just like the one described by @Ochman, even if there isn't. Which is annoying. =x
 
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Silba

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I believe i have implemented my very first 'anti-bot' features for an oldschool server i am currently working on. The client is 7.72, it's an oldschool "999x fastatk" ue spam 0 cooldown illusion server (im remaking it from scratch in othire).

First problem: Otclient and bots can spam spells faster than a manual player using cip client.
Solution: 100ms exhaust, easily achievable by a manual player on cip client and still fast enough to look super spammy.

Second problem: Otclient and bots can spam manarune. (yes i know i can disable hotkeys in otc and force them to use my client but that's stupid)
Solution: manarunes can be 'used' by saying a spell. Now otc/bot has no advantage over a manual player on the cip client.

This is the kind of stuff im on about in this thread. Now botters will not have a pvp advantage at all and the total negative impact is 0 to all players. I believe this discourages botting in pvp situations, it will not discourage lazy people who don't want to press hotkeys with their fingers, but at least now those that still choose to bot will have no advantage.

Obviously this can't really be applied to more serious servers or even my main project, but it's still a clear example of how we can address botting without harming normal players.
 

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Worr

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Second problem: Otclient and bots can spam manarune. (yes i know i can disable hotkeys in otc and force them to use my client but that's stupid)
Solution: manarunes can be 'used' by saying a spell. Now otc/bot has no advantage over a manual player on the cip client.

From a practical standpoint, that's identical to the solution CIP implemented in 7.8. Is there a particular reason you went with 7.72 in the first place?
 
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Silba

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From a practical standpoint, that's identical to the solution CIP implemented in 7.72. Is there a particular reason you went with 7.72 in the first place?
It's pretty much the same thing yes, item hotkeys are one of the best things cip have ever done to reduce the effectiveness of pvp bots imo. However this system is only implemented for uh and manarune on this server as they are the most important runes and it allows me to balance vocations and pvp much more effectively now that bots can't abuse these runes. cip added item hotkeys in 7.8 btw.

I chose 7.72 because this is a remake of a 7.6 server, 7.6 is a bad client and anything above 7.72 is no longer the same game at all and my server would not be a proper remake.
 

drakylucas

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Party hunts giving more exp is a way to benefit real players instead of botters. You might also increase general experience from all server based in how many active parties hunting are there, so people will ask for party hunts even more.

Random timeout from magic walls also help, as they'll lose vantage in wars.

Maybe (not sure though) a system similar to low stamina per creature? Like if you killed more than X creatures from the same type in Y hours, these creatures will now give less exp and loot for this player for x hours. (normal players may also be affected, but only if they keep hunting in same ground for long time like 5 hours, which I believe shouldn't happen that easy)

Maybe benefitting players that answer some questions from time to time (instead of banning people who couldn't see red message in screen, give a boost in xp to players that are actually playing and could see the message. Note that some botters may implement some systems to also answer these questions, but I believe it will be minority)
 
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Silba

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Party hunts giving more exp is a way to benefit real players instead of botters. You might also increase general experience from all server based in how many active parties hunting are there, so people will ask for party hunts even more.

Random timeout from magic walls also help, as they'll lose vantage in wars.

Maybe (not sure though) a system similar to low stamina per creature? Like if you killed more than X creatures from the same type in Y hours, these creatures will now give less exp and loot for this player for x hours. (normal players may also be affected, but only if they keep hunting in same ground for long time like 5 hours, which I believe shouldn't happen that easy)

Maybe benefitting players that answer some questions from time to time (instead of banning people who couldn't see red message in screen, give a boost in xp to players that are actually playing and could see the message. Note that some botters may implement some systems to also answer these questions, but I believe it will be minority)
Party hunt exp bonus is abuseable by most modern bots, they aren't the most efficient but it's still not very effective i dont think, recently i've set up 4 vocation parties on aurera global and the exp/hr and profit is insane and only about 25-50% behind a manual party for exp/hr.

I like your stamina idea, im going to note that down and see if i can figure out how it should work without punishing players that want to actually hunt something for hours for any reason. For example, this system should not punish a lvl 100 who wants to make a giant food lootbag at rotworms, it's not unheard of in tibia for people to manually hunt for hours a lower class creature. Especially when fat lootbags are concerned.

I don't want players to have to input anything that doesn't have anything to do with gameplay so i would have something similar to this but integrate it somehow with gameplay and with a level of randomisation so a bot can't do it but a player can. Something like exp and loot rates being super low unless you actively do something while hunting such as charging an item or visiting an npc, where the charges and/or npc would be randomised. Making this seamless with the gameplay is the goal, so it's just part of playing instead of just an obstacle for bots which annoys normal players.
 

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It's pretty much the same thing yes, item hotkeys are one of the best things cip have ever done to reduce the effectiveness of pvp bots imo. However this system is only implemented for uh and manarune on this server as they are the most important runes and it allows me to balance vocations and pvp much more effectively now that bots can't abuse these runes. cip added item hotkeys in 7.8 btw.

I chose 7.72 because this is a remake of a 7.6 server, 7.6 is a bad client and anything above 7.72 is no longer the same game at all and my server would not be a proper remake.

It seems a bit like cutting one's leg off because of knee pain. Might as well:
  • disable switching rings, because bots can do it quicker
  • make 2s exhaust for throwing pots, because bots can throw them way quicker
  • disable fishing, because bots can fish more effectively and with no effort
  • give free runes to everyone, because people can farm them
  • disable training, because bots can train with no effort
  • disable exp and loot from creatures, because people can cavebot
and so on. If you want to get rid of all possible ways of cheating, you will get rid of the game itself. Or you can add a build-in bot for everything, better than any standalone bots would be (so that using them would become pointless).

To get to the core of the issue, I think you should reconsider why people begin to cheat in the first place. It is usually not because hunting is boring. The vast most use bots for one of the two reasons: a) make real money b) gain advantage over the rest (or to not stay behind when the rest is botting). Let's for a moment assume you've managed to turn hunting into something interesting, that's not boring anyone to death anymore. But while people will do it manually now, the botter may still do it manually (if it's really that interesting) AND bot whenever he can't play, because why not? So he's still in advantage, nothing changed.

No incentive to manually hunt - There's usually no meaningful reward for exping on most servers. Mostly everything is locked behind paywalls or tedious quests. You get most of your abilities before level 100 (especially on oldschool) and the game hardly changes from this point. We should level up so we can... level up? the exact same hotkey spamming just in a different area. It's much nicer to set up a bot and come back the next day to some serious progression and loot.

If it were a single-player game, it would be 100% right. But since Tibia is a multi-player one, the reasons are to gain power. And it doesn't matter whether you're in the top, or just some low level pk. The purpose is always to make your character stronger in order to play a bigger role in this role-playing game. Competition is what pushes people to cheat (those who do it for real money too, because what they sell is bought by others who want to gain advantage that way). Someone on the first page made a joke about making offline Tibia. It actually hit the point, you'd need to cut competition off (or minimize it) in order to make people stop trying to cheat.
In theory you'd have to create a situation in which playing the game does not give anything but the fun from playing it.

Things like soul points don't discourage anyone from cheating, it only makes some ways of cheating harder, which falls for the point you marked as stupid (in your first post). Or simply encourages other ways (e.g. people would be more likely to cavebot instead of runefarm).
 
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Silba

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It seems a bit like cutting one's leg off because of knee pain. Might as well:
  • disable switching rings, because bots can do it quicker
  • make 2s exhaust for throwing pots, because bots can throw them way quicker
  • disable fishing, because bots can fish more effectively and with no effort
  • give free runes to everyone, because people can farm them
  • disable training, because bots can train with no effort
  • disable exp and loot from creatures, because people can cavebot
and so on. If you want to get rid of all possible ways of cheating, you will get rid of the game itself. Or you can add a build-in bot for everything, better than any standalone bots would be.

I also think you should reconsider why people cheat in the first place. It is usually not because hunting is boring. The vast most use bots for one of the two reasons: a) make real money, b) gain advantage over the rest (or to not stay behind when the rest is botting). Let's for a moment assume you've managed to turn hunting into something interesting, that's not boring anyone to death. But while others do it manually, the botter may still do it manually (if it's really that interesting) AND bot whenever he can't play, because why not?



If it were a single-player game, it would be 100% right. But since Tibia is a multi-player one, the reasons are to gain power. And it doesn't matter whether you're in the top, or just some low level pk. The purpose is always to make your character stronger in order to play a bigger role in this role-playing game. Which is what often pushes people to cheat.
No, not at all. None of your points apply to my server you're quoting me on.
  • rings bear no relevance due to the nature of the server
  • pots are unobtainable and even if they were that is not the type of pvp happening on my server
  • fishing is irrelevant due to the nature of the server
  • only manarune and uh are relevant and someone runemaking on this server would be laughable as a complete waste of their time, rune farming is not part of illusion
  • skills aren't as relevant here
  • cavebot would be the same laughable situation as rune farming
I'm not stupid, i'm not just willy nilly doing things, a lot of thought goes in to my changes and putting uh and manarune on a hotkey via a spell that uses the rune is not just to put players on par with bots, it's a balance change that allows for more diversity in pvp. Real oldschool illusion was dominated by sorcerers only, every other vocation was useless and with manarunes this is just greatly increased making botting sorcerers nearly invulnerable. I'm giving other vocations a chance by letting them compete with sorcerers.

As for a more serious server and my main project
  • if ring switching is problematic due to bots, then why not change it?
  • bots can not match a human in throwing pots, faster yes, accurate? no chance.
  • how about we change how fishing works?
  • change how runes are made?
  • change how 'training' works? someone inefficiently training 24 hours a day doesn't need to be rewarded more than someone manually training for 2 hours a day.
  • change how hunting works? someone hunting inefficiently for 12+ hours a day doesn't need to be rewarded more than someone who plays manually for 2 hours.
Starting to get the point now... I want to change how tibia is played so bots are not encouraged, especially through gameplay mechanics that can be designed better. Most of the systems were designed 15+ years ago, of course we can do better.

I do not need to reconsider why people bot, i am the botter, i know exactly why i bot and why the people i help set up bot farms for bot.

What if endlessly botting offered no advantage over a casual player? Why would someone spend time setting a bot up when in that same amount of time he could have progressed further than the bot can in 24 hours? Even if the botter does set the bot up it wouldn't affect the health of the server because he would lag behind even the less active people who can only play a couple of hours a day.
 

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I do not know the nature of your server then, so can't refer. However, you said that:
I chose 7.72 because this is a remake of a 7.6 server, 7.6 is a bad client and anything above 7.72 is no longer the same game at all and my server would not be a proper remake.
After reading your response I think the relevant question is: how much of "the same game" is still left then? Isn't that you're getting rid of the game itself? No hate, but what would still make it be Tibia 7.7 after all those changes? Sprites?

Btw bot (or macro) can throw pots exactly where you point it, just as accurately and with unhuman speed. Those kinds of things are usually a big advantage in pvp, when you can set up everything to your hotkeys and automate.
 
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Silba

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I do not know the nature of your server then, so can't refer. However, you said that:

After reading your response I think the relevant question is: how much of "the same game" is still left then? Isn't that you're getting rid of the game itself? No hate, but what would still make it be Tibia 7.7 after all those changes? Sprites?

Btw bot (or macro) can throw pots exactly where you point it, just as accurately and with unhuman speed. Those kinds of things are usually a big advantage in pvp, when you can set up everything to your hotkeys and automate.
My 7.72 will have minimal changes, it's my other project that will follow tfs development where I'm going to try and implement these huge changes properly. It will not resemble any single tibia client and will be my vision of what tibia should be based on my time playing 7.x back in the day. These changes should not make it feel less like tibia, that's the goal.

Maybe something like "what tibia could have been like if instead of destroying the game after 7.4 they made it better instead"
 
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Hello. @Silba asked me to come and share my views. I've been out of Tibia for quite a long time, and recently returned; I was a GM on the original Real Tibia OT (before the map was released/leaked), Goobers OT, Green Zebra Hosting OTs etc etc., and have also since then run other game servers. My role usually revolves around community and game management, but I also enjoy mapping (I like to build worlds, it's fun for me).

People bot for all sorts of reasons. I've botted before. No matter the specifics, people do it to gain an advantage. The aim shouldn't be to 'ban all botters', it should be to 'minimise the deficit in player experience by refusing to use third party software', and this is an ethos CIP themselves have taken up, but I think there are better ways to do it than CIP has (although, this has only become evident because of their trialling).

Let's clear up some misconceptions I've seen here:
  • People will always use cheats. It doesn't matter what game it is, they will cheat. I've seen cheaters on WoW, Tibia, TF2, Minecraft... people cheat everywhere. They do it for advantage.
  • You can't just say 'this high level has hunted for 10 hours, therefore they're a bot', no matter the mob, because you don't know why they're hunting. This should be a cause for investigation.
  • There are few ways to tell someone is using a bot if they're at their keyboard. Unless they are doing something improbable or impossible, such as the old rainbow outfit bots, you just can't tell.
  • A deletion warning does not deter a botter on a free and open game. All it does, is encourage that player to diversify their portfolio of cheating to minimise their own losses.

From the perspective of a developer:
1) Anyone using the real Tibia map should move the entire map by a few hundred squares, and adjust functions accordingly. Cavebots function by using waypoints, and if you're using the standard real Tibia map, there are already a lot of pre-made scripts.
2) In the same vein of thinking, in common, known botting spots, it would be ideal to have a 'pool' of maps with holes, rope spots, and stairs, altered appropriately. The objective here being to disrupt the ability to produce scripts, such that it makes doing so less convenient than just playing.
3) Make an appropriate alternative to using the bot; the current discussion is so polarised "do we add hotkeys or not?", when you haven't looked at the grey area. Make hotkeys with a cost. A very simple implementation of this: make a spell that costs 10 mana to cast, but fires an SD at your current target, consuming an SD rune within your bags.
4) In a similar vein, for issues such as training, you should make trainers with a sufficient cost. For instance, you might make trainers that only increase your skill by 25% of the normal rate, and cannot be done for more than x hours. I think CIP made a mistake in making the skill rate the same; players should be rewarded for taking the time to do it manually.

The penalty can't be too harsh. You need to strike a balance between players getting the features they crave with convenience, whilst also making using a bot look unappealing.

Again, for something like fishing, maybe it would be worth significantly increasing the fish catch rate, or even increasing the duration for which a fish lasts, to ultimately require less effort to get the resources needed. Make using the bot feel like more labour than just doing it normally.
5) As other people have proposed, continue to develop new and engaging content. The content you make might also include changes to the map; for instance, you might have days where some of the Darashia rotworms are blocked off due to a 'cave-in', and maybe, sometimes, a wizard's tower appears near the Orc Fortress. Making the game dynamic is a healthy way to keep players wanting to look into how it works. It keeps them alert.

From the perspective of a community manager:
1) Bans are not a point of pride. I see many very new, amateur GMs, striving to ban as many players as possible. I have joined games/communities that would permanently ban for offensive behaviour, and I changed that significantly when it become my role to manage them. The problem was with the behaviour of the player, not that the player is in your community. Sometimes, this strive to get a ban can result in GMs acting hastily; this can come with the idea of role biases, as when a GM is newly appointed, their duty is to 'uphold rules and ban the baddies', and therefore if they don't, they feel inadequate in that role. You, as an owner, or community manager, need to change that mindset and ensure the people you take on are looking at this as a system of 'how do these rules make the game a better place to play?' Diffuse the prestige and necessity of bans, and look to create a cohesive environment of happy players.
2) GMs need multiple tool characters. As pointed out, players can easily identify GMs, their active times, and their own play habits. I used to make secret accounts to monitor not only what the players were doing, but also what my staff were doing (and have, on several occasions, removed staff from my rosters for their inept or intolerable behaviour that they wouldn't have otherwise done if they had known I was present).

GMs should have the tools to make characters sufficient to investigate issues. As we know, many bots will detect the GM outfit and stop/alert the player. This might mean being able to make characters with a higher level/skills, unmarked GM characters etc.
3) Ban broadcasts are stupid. They tell everyone using a bot, to stop for now, because a GM is patrolling. Again, bans are not a point of pride. Should you wish to broadcast that you have banned a player, you should do so manually.
4) Don't be afraid to check in on players with notoriety. You can perform innocuous checks just by running past them; if they ask, tell them you're just taking a look at who's in the cave, or that you're looking at making some changes and ask for their suggestions. Make it casual.
5) When you make and enforce rules, it is easy to sit there and copy CIP's rules. There are some good ideas within them to form a basis, but ask yourself why those rules exist, and consider if they're draconian. For instance, why is multi-clienting banned? The issue with multi-clienting is seldom the advantage players get from having two characters, but rather, that one of those characters is likely to be using bot software, or being used in a destructive way; there are however, very valid uses for them, such as training. Ask yourself: does this rule benefit the fabric of the game?

When I lost my position on real Tibia to an error made by one of their CMs (to which, they refused to rectify), I went and posted an enormous series of loop-holes in their rules on their forums. Their rules were rewritten two weeks later. Their rules are not iron-clad.

--
I might think of more. I hope this has been insightful. I still have to think about rules a lot these days, although not so much in games, but in managing the behaviour of teenagers. :)

- Cupcake
 

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tibia is an old game was released 1997 before Nokia 6600 people who used to play are getting old and there is no time for me to kill 20 rotworms to get a level or 1 dragon to get a level. I rather let it bot and do my thing then come back and play.
 

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tibia is an old game was released 1997 before Nokia 6600 people who used to play are getting old and there is no time for me to kill 20 rotworms to get a level or 1 dragon to get a level. I rather let it bot and do my thing then come back and play.

This argument is one of the worst. If you dont have time to play the game, play something else that requires less time, like a mobile game that plays while you dont have the game open. Dont cheat and ruin the game for those that actually play it.
 

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This argument is one of the worst. If you dont have time to play the game, play something else that requires less time, like a mobile game that plays while you dont have the game open. Dont cheat and ruin the game for those that actually play it.
this argument is in fact what many people inconsciently think when considering a bot.

As I told in page 2, people bot simply because the grinding part of the game isn't fun. You can close the thread, your answer is already there.
You can circle around 500x times and give other reasons but in fact this is all directly related to this.

You have a game in which vast majority of players are only looking to level up fast and go to PVP with their friends to establish dominance in the server. Make them grinding is a way to hold back their progress and make the game last longer. But in counterpart, this is all repetitive work and makes people want to skip/automatize this boring part.

How to discourage botting? Make the game fun. If you need to grind, make it random, turn it all in a discovery. Make people play together and interact. Put more exp for people playing together, invest in a task system.
Make good maps, with surprises and traps. Put monsters with random tiers, chances to spawn bosses upon XXXX monsters killed.
Make the client have a better layout, make changes in the way you play so you don't constantly need to take your hand out of the mouse and press F1-F8. There's plenty "small details" on the interface and the way we interact with the game that could be improved, but everyone simply overlook them.

If your game is just like 42368528532 other servers out there, people will simply have one goal: grow as fast as they can, establish dominance and them quit. You can't blame them for automatizing this.
 

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this argument is in fact what many people inconsciently think when considering a bot.

As I told in page 2, people bot simply because the grinding part of the game isn't fun. You can close the thread, your answer is already there.
You can circle around 500x times and give other reasons but in fact this is all directly related to this.

You have a game in which vast majority of players are only looking to level up fast and go to PVP with their friends to establish dominance in the server. Make them grinding is a way to hold back their progress and make the game last longer. But in counterpart, this is all repetitive work and makes people want to skip/automatize this boring part.

How to discourage botting? Make the game fun. If you need to grind, make it random, turn it all in a discovery. Make people play together and interact. Put more exp for people playing together, invest in a task system.
Make good maps, with surprises and traps. Put monsters with random tiers, chances to spawn bosses upon XXXX monsters killed.
Make the client have a better layout, make changes in the way you play so you don't constantly need to take your hand out of the mouse and press F1-F8. There's plenty "small details" on the interface and the way we interact with the game that could be improved, but everyone simply overlook them.

If your game is just like 42368528532 other servers out there, people will simply have one goal: grow as fast as they can, establish dominance and them quit. You can't blame them for automatizing this.

I agree to what you have said, but then again, play a server that fulfill your needs. Adapt to the game or choose a different one.
 

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Botting isn't carried out for one reason, or even a handful of reasons. People have plenty of reasons for botting.

I botted from the simple light hack in 7.1 to when CipSoft introduced BattlEye. I've used Tibiaauto, BlackD, NG, Elfbot, NeoBot, Xenobot, Windbot, Magebot, plenty of others too.

I didn't care about power, levels, money, it was the addiction of waking up in the morning and looking at 40 characters grinding away, backpacks upon backpacks of loot. It was making scripts that I found the most enjoyable, finding new places to bot, unknown places, botting to a certain level to bot somewhere else, looking through your inventory to see how many rares you had looted, then scripting your highest level to grab items from depot and sell them all. It was the thrill of automation, testing the automation and limits of the game.

I had bots in spawns from swamp trolls, up to navigation setup at Draken Walls with EK/ED healing and team hunting.

Sure - I could do this on a private server but why? You have the capability of spawning everything you want anyway, the thrill of the chance of getting deleted, finding ways around deletion, troubleshooting those problems and coming back better.

In my peak, I had anywhere between 40-50 clients running at a single time, 24/7 with 4 characters per account. The majority of those were deleted, but I botted up to the day they switched BattlEye on.

Some people love Tibia, but don't have the time to spend 12 hours a day, grinding mobs, but they enjoy bosses, to get to a level to fight bosses would take them years playing a couple of hours a week or 30 days of botting.

Tibia is the only game I've ever botted. I've tested out bots on other games, but they don't give me what Tibia did when botting was at it's peak. I miss the bot days.

What I'm trying to get to here, is that people are saying botters will bot for X reason and that just isn't the truth. Some people will bot for money, some for power, some for grinding 5000 kills on a boss for rares or achievements. There is and always will be bots on games. No matter what you change on your server, it just simply doesn't matter. Someone will find a way to get an advantage and use a bot to give them the advantage. It's human nature.

For those that say if you don't have the time, don't play. That's a cynical way of looking at it and I don't agree at all.
 
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