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- Main article: WoWWiki:Wiki bots
A bot is a special type of wiki user.
In World of Warcraft
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Reporting a botter
Although they may not interrupt you or hamper your current gameplay, botters are considered by some to be a threat to a server due to the excessive farming which can allegedly damage a server's virtual economy, however this is often disputed as there are many examples of economy normalization on servers where there is a heavy presence of gold farmers. PvP botters are also seen by many as a great nuisance in battlegrounds due to the disadvantages it brings your team and the boredom in playing against them.
If you suspect a character is being played by a bot, you are as of patch 4.3.4 encouraged by Blizzard to use the Report Player function. To do this, right click on a player's portrait, click "Report Player For:", choose "Cheating", fill in detailed information and submit. You should include the time you have seen them, where you have seen them, and your reasons that you believe that the player is a bot. Another way to report any kind of cheating is to send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Evidence such as screenshots and videos can be uploaded to respectively e.g. tinypic.com and Youtube.com.
Gold and material farming
Honor farming and Leveling
Bots can also be used for farming honor at the various Battlegrounds. Bots such as Pirox and Honorbuddy even include profiles for all the battlegrounds by default. One of the most popular uses of bots, however, is leveling. This can be done in one of three ways; Questing, PvPing, and pure grinding. Some bots support quest profiles, which automatically perform quests (including quest pickup and turn in). Pure grinding is simply a basic process to kill certain mobs in certain areas till the player levels. For a long time, from 2005 till 2009, pure grinding was the only method used to level with a bot, since questing profiles hadn't been developed yet, and PvP battlegrounds yielded no experience.
A number of bots developed by numerous people started appearing within a year or two of World of Warcraft's release, such as Openbot. However, the most notable and famous of which was Glider, which first appeared in 2005. Developed by Michael Donnelly, Glider was noted for it's particular ease of use, numerous features, and robust community. It's strong community created many profiles to use with the bot, and distributed them freely. After it's initial popularity, Glider was developed into a full featured bot in 2007 and sold for $25. The bot and it's community thrived for over 4 years, and over 100,000 copies of Glider were sold (as of 2008). Glider quickly became the de-facto program of choose for most botters.
In July of 2008, Blizzard filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona against the makers of Glider. The lawsuit alleged that MDY Industries, LLC (the company selling Glider) were liable for copyright infringement based, in part, on the premise that users of the World of Warcraft software are actually "licensees" rather than owners of their copy of software. Public Knowledge, a public interest group, publicaly criticized the decision. However, the court found that Glider infringed upon Blizzard's intellectual property and ordered the makers of Glider to pay Blizzard six million dollars. In March 2009, MDY suspended Glider sales and operations, as well as closed their online community. As of September 2009, they are appealing the court decision.
After Glider ceased selling and developing their bot, a number of newer bots started appearing in late 2009, such as there was high demand among the botting community for a new bot similar to Glider. There were already bots out during Glider, such as WoWMimic set of bots that automate all aspects of the game, another was Farmer John Bot. Some other well-known bots were Pirox, Gatherbuddy (aka, Honorbuddy) and MMOLazy. Dubbed the "second generation" of bots, They aren't similar to Glider as they are more advanced and offered more features, control and creation of profiles, and ease of use without External plugins. They have thriving online communities, as most of the previous members of Glider migrated over.
Other bots such as WRobot and TheNoobBot later emerged, but Honorbuddy became the most popular bot. But after years in court and increasingly frequent banwaves, Honorbuddy ceased it sales after losing as series of legal cases. The last judgement in March 2017 ordered the makers of Honorbuddy to pay Blizzard 8.5 million dollars in damages.
Spotting a botter
There are several signs that may indicate that one player in action could be a botter.
- Silence: The botter does not normally respond to tells or emotes. Sometimes the botter will have an automated message when they are whispered to. Other bots may automatically log out if players repeatedly send whispers to them.
- Odd Movement: The botter does not move normally. It spins around, jumps, runs in circles, runs in zig-zags, have a strict pattern in movement, ignores high level or groups of characters from the opposing faction when in danger or runs into objects.
- Questionable Gear: Botters will almost always use BoE gear. Sometimes the gear may or may not be in their level range, meaning some gear being worn is meant for an earlier level while the character is able to wear better gear than that.
- Default Pet Names: Most botters are usually hunters due to the ease of use of the class. Their pets may have their default names, "Boar" or complete gibberish names such as "argfwega".
- Gibberish names: It is typical for dungeon botters to have names which makes no sense, such as "hgljgnlg".
- Instantaneous interrupts: Some types of bots detect loaded casts and interrupt them the moment they begin to load.
- Instantaneous removal of stun or incapitate: Using trinket or the human racial, a bot can remove such effects as Sap the same moment it is applied to the bot.
- Perfectly timed Crowd Control: If a character is rotating its CC in a perfect manner, for example Polymorph, it can be a sign of a bot.
- Turning while stunned or incapitated: No player should be able to turn around to face its target during stuns or incapitating effects after the effect inital latency of said player is over.
- Very high activity as seen on Armory: Characters with an unreasonably high activity as seen on the Armory is suspicious. This is seen especially for dungeon botters, which may have done the same dungeon hundreds of times the past weeks. Battleground bots may have aquired unlikely much PvP gear.
- Fighting only when attacked: Some botters are programmed to attack only when itself is attacked. This is characterized by instantaneous retaliation, ignoring the chance of success of surviving.
- Standing still near missing quest givers: When quest givers are missing, usually as a result of usually getting killed by a member of the opposing faction, botters are prone to stand still and wait for the NPC at the exact same spot.
- Attacking anything that comes in range: Especially evident in battlegrounds, botters can follow the same route until an enemy comes in range, ignoring factors like the chance of survival.
- Very large amount of farmable items on the Auction House: Botters that have obtained large amount of farmed goods can sell these items on the AH. Such botters also tend to aggressively undercut the prices.
- Standing still when fighting: Even though a botter can have a perfect rotation on its abilities, standing still while fighting does not always make sense even if the opponent isn't moving. Standing in front of an opponent means he or she is able to parry. For example can a bot ignore that a Rogue uses Evasion, instead of trying to attack from behind where melee attacks cannot be dodged. Such bots usually don't jump either.
- "Tunnel vision": Some bots ignore any other characters and focus only on its current target. This can be the case even if significantly easier targets are in range.
- Silence: Sometimes players may not want to talk to others while they are busy playing, and some players may have an addon to produce automated messages for instances for when they do not want to be disturbed.
- Odd Movement: While WoW can be a bandwidth consuming and high latency game, sometimes players may not have the best connection, causing character movements which may seem "bot-like". such as spinning, jumping, running in circles or into objects, etc. As for patterns in movement can be debatable. A player can perhaps be circling an area farming for loot or gold themselves as a way to efficiently kill mobs in an area once they return to a spot. Some players choose to ignore enemy opponents even if they are likely to be be killed.
- Questionable Gear: Players may not make as much gold or have the amount of time or desire to go get new or higher level gear by running instances or doing quests. Otherwise, if players have the money, their character may be a twink, a type of character which commonly may be subject to wearing BoE goods from the auction house.
- Gibberish names: There can be different reasons to why people have gibberish names, for example that they simply don't care what they are called.
- Instantaneous interrupts: Some players can be either lucky or exceptionally skilled and know when loaded casts are likely to be cast.
- Instantaneous removal of stun or incapitate: This might be because of the same reasons as for instantaneous interrupts.
- Perfectly timed Crowd Control: As with instantaneous interrupts, such CC can be a result of either luck or great skill.
- Turning while stunned or incapitated: Players with high latency can have a brief moment of movement after the initial stun or incapitate is applied.
- Very high activity as seen on the Armory: Some players simply spend very much time playing World of Warcraft.
- Fighting only when attacked: Some players don't like PvP or choose to not attack for some other reason, and only fights back if attacked first.
- Standing still near missing quest givers: Though most real players tend to move somewhat while waiting for the quest giver to return, some stand at the same spot like botters do.
- Attacking anything that comes in range: Some players play aggressively and thus attack anyone nearby.
- Very large amount of farmable items on the Auction House: Players may have farmed material without the use of a bot, and may also undercut the prices frequently.
- Standing still when fighting: Some players are less skilled and/or unaware of the fact that attacking from behind maximises the output. Others do it more or less intentionally or unintentionally.
- "Tunnel vision": Especially new players are prone to tunnel vision someone, but any player can from time to time do this.
- PCgamer.com Blizzard bans more than 100k World of Warcraft accounts
PCinvasion.com World of Warcraft bot company ordered to pay $8.5 million