Ever since the first few days after Guild Wars 2′s launch, botting has been a problem in the game. Bots are randomly common in most MMORPGs, of course, but due to GW2′s automatic level adjustment system, simplified combat entry, the repetition of some dynamic events, and the game’s single-purchase requirement and its economy as a whole, botting is quite rampant and extremely obvious– and has been for a while. It’s hard to miss a flood of identical “Jfjfkajkjkj”-named Rangers and herd of bear pets while out exploring and gathering crafting mats.
GameSpy recently published a rather honest editorial about the botting and customer service issues one journalist sees in Guild Wars 2. It’s a solid read, and definitely got some attention on ArenaNet’s forums. Among that attention, Colin Johanson, Game Director of Guild Wars 2, took some time to issue an update on the company’s stance and plan of action regarding the botting issues. Keep reading to see that update.
Originally posted by ColinJohanson (Source)
Since it has been a few weeks since we gave an update on this, just wanted to quickly update where we stand. We recently hired an entire new team of people with one mission in mind: operation bot destruction.
They’ve been getting everything in place to accomplish our goal of making botting, hacking, spamming, and malicious behavior as non-existent as possible in Gw2. In the last few weeks, over 10,000 bot accounts were banned from the game alone. Another area of massive improvement has been in account security, where our two-factor authentication as well as your password changes have led to account thefts dropping to a tiny rate. A vast majority of account thieves use those accounts to run bots and/or perform RMT transactions, so our serious beefing up of account security has led to fewer bots, and most importantly fewer stolen accounts. That being said, we have massive improvements on the way in the next couple of weeks that help us detect, verify, and remove botters.
What we don’t want to do is have someone report you as botting, we ban the account, the bot appeals, and we have no data to prove they were botting on file so we have to give them the account back. Ensuring we have 100% clear data on bots that’s incredibly easy for our GM team to quickly verify, and when an appeal is submitted verify within seconds if the person was truly botting is our most important goal. We don’t want to ban people who were not botting, and we want to keep the people who are permanently locked out.
Bottom line: We’re doing ok, but we know we can and need to do much better on this front and are putting massive resources behind ensuring we have a permanent solution to this issue. You’ll see a dramatic improvement in this area in the next few weeks as our remaining detection and bot destruction tools and staff come online.
We’ll continue to keep updating on this front as we go forward, but rest assured we are aware of issues folks are raising and take them incredibly seriously. From FOV to bots, account restoration to more awesome stuff to do at level 80 we have teams working like mad on all of these fronts.
First off, as I’ve said before– it’s great to see ArenaNet’s open line of communication here, as well as the admittance of the fact that their current means of bot-squashing are only “ok.” Yes, they can do better. And it’s awesome to see some information on how they plan on doing so.