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Bots *sigh*

By nykarleby99#6702 - SUBSCRIBER - May 28, 2022, 10:32:07

Hey!

I want  to raise awareness to a bigger and bigger issue, and that's the  resource farming bots that are running around on especially Echo, and the role MOD's and employees at Ankama play against these bots.
This game is old, bots have been around forever, sometimes more, sometimes less. Currently, there's A LOT of bot teams running around on Echo, and seems like nothing is being done to cope it. Me and some other people have tried to reach out to ankama (and MOD's) through twitter and ankabox, no response on any of our messages. We have provided names of the leader of each bot group. Nothing... even after 3-4 weeks after reporting. 
Take Lord Crow's Library as an example. There's around 10 bot teams running around currently, first time it got reported about was 4 weeks ago, then it was just a few teams.

Just some quick maths to show how bad the situation is:

  • One fight takes on average around 15s (FOR 8 LOOT)
  • Each team runs with 6-8 characters.
  • Let's say each character gets 5kk worth of loot from each fight (That's to be gentle, some areas give wayyyy more)
  • Each minute, 1 bot team produces around 100-150kk worth of resources. In areas with better loot, wayy more.
  • In Lord Crow's Library only, there's about 10 teams running around non-stop. Which means... whoever is controlling those bots, gets about 1-1,5mk worth of resources each minute.
  • That's about 1,5-2bk worth of resources in a day, without having to do anything except checking so the clients are still up n running.

Those who play on Echo have probably noticed that nugget prices have gone down dramatically. From almost 400k each, to now around 250k, in just a few weeks. Knowing that these bots have been running Lord Crow's Library non-stop for weeks, we can assume they are recycling the resources (because no way they are selling them, nuggets sell wayyyy faster). Maybe bots play a role in this?!?


Suggestions
I got a few suggestions on how to cope this, and prevent bots from farming for a month before anything is even done about it.

1. Ankama said in a blog post or somewhere else that they upgraded their bot detection system. But let's be real, it's total dogshit and ain't doing much. So maybe it would be an idea for Ankama to work on this instead of revamping the whole resource generation system that they have been talking about. Detect when a character do continuous super quick fights with spectator mode off. Shouldn't be difficult to make a system that takes average time for each fight past 5 minutes.... if spectator mode is off, alarm a Mod or something to take a look into it. (Bot teams run with spec mode off because they most likely seeds ankama servers with packets that "this mob died" "this died" without actually killing them, hence making fights super quick)

2. Moderators!!!!!! Play a more active role in fighting these bots. It takes a minute of your time to invite a bot team leader to a jail, and see if it's a legit player or not. Or just spectate their fights. It doesn't take long for you to determine if it's a bot or not. Lord Crow's Library again for an example, you don't have to stand many seconds in a room to see a bot team pass by. Why aren't they getting banned even after multiple reports?

3. Implement a report button in-game. Can't be too difficult to make.
  1. Click on a character
  2. At "block this player" and "Ignore for this session" add a "Report this player"
  3. Pop up shows a question asking what the person did. It has alternatives like :"Bot","Scammer", etc.
  4. You can pick one, and depending on what you chose, it has more questions.
  5. Once you Submit the report, it goes directly to a Moderator (perhaps?), and they can sort it out, or reach out for more information through ankabox or some in-game feature.

4. Be more active on twitter and ankabox. Currently it feels like we are reporting and reporting, but nothing happens. Instead of putting valuable time on flipping the whole resource generation system over, to fix one problem, but to cause new ones - maybe it would be an idea to put slightly more time on actually being out on the field. Read messages/replies on twitter. Read ankabox. Check areas that often has bots.

5. As mentioned earlier in this post... Bots in Lord Crow's Library have been running the dungeon for weeks, and there's no chance they are selling the resources. Find who recycles A LOT... find a bot host. New account that generates 500 000 nuggets a day out of nowhere? Well... we can assume there's some scetchy stuff going on behind the scenes.


Post got longer than expected. But issue is real... and someone is making hella money out of it, otherwise they wouldn't have 10 teams with 6-8 characters running around in just 1 area! I mentioned Lord Crow's Library a lot, since it's an extreme case. But we all know that there's bot teams running around in different areas.
I do really hope that Moderators put slightly more effort now into looking into these cases. It would be super if Ankama "upgraded" their bot detection system, Again..., and made a report button. But guess we can't expect too much for now, changes take time - but being slightly more active on twitter and ankabox is something you can right now smile


Let me know in the replies your thoughts on this matter... and what could be done about it. Is it fine to abuse perceptors for example in areas that bots are running, even further crashing the resource prices for that specific area? Place a perceptor in Lord Crow's dungeon, and it will be full in 5-7 minutes (tested it around 10:00 Sat 28.5.2022)
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agreed, the lord crow bots are becomming brutal, not even talking about the brakmar city walls bots, cania massif, lousy pig planes and much much more areas, some of those areas get ur perceptor filled within a day. lord crows however is breaking records atm, one perc of 4000 pods 3 minutes and it was full.

plz do something about it

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I want to expand on the aspect of moderation in the context of bots, because this issue is so serious that it has actually bordered on the 'sad' now too.

Before Ankama financially incentivises its moderators, there will never be a solid team of moderators capable of posing a serious threat to bots—and this is precisely what botters are counting on. Volunteer moderators, while laudable in principle, do not show the commitment necessary to stomp the waves of bots blatantly crawling around the servers of Dofus.

As the OP said, Ankabox messages remain unanswered. Tickets about bot reports are shrugged off because the reporter usually fails to follow the 1,239,545 steps necessary to report a bot 'legally'.

I laugh at the irony that Ankama's future changes to the loot system are claimed to be developed with the in-game economy in mind, but the gargantuan amount of damage that bots have done, are doing and continue to do to the economy is completely ignored. Bots arguably influence our daily in-game activities more than Ankama itself does, and this will continue to cripple the game until its death.

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Back on Zato, I used to report at times aggressive sellers of "whatnot" ... by doing alllllllllllllllll the "proper" (and veeeery time consuming) procedures on Support's page:
  • sometime bots/ sellers of "whatnot" went off, sometime no;
  • anyway, even those "banned" were coming back, in a week or two: same stuff on them, same msgs, same names of the characters ...

#sadgamingenvironment
#sellbuyanythingyouwantinanygameorirlcurrencyispassableatm
#swearandbullyallyouwantonallchannelsyouwillonlygetbannedbymistakeifyourothermineraccountstaiestoomuchonamap


All this, while "by mistake" valuable players, who have done heaps for the community, get occasionally banned at times, and it takes weeks, months even, at times, to get back "ownership" and functionality of their account...
So... If even Support doesn't fully ban the ones selling "whatnot" for example, or spamming chats with racist comments ... What on earth can one expect from volunteers? When even Ankama seems not to care anymore ...

PS: All this carelessness ... is it cuz Dofus 3.x or Cube or w.e. is around the corner, and there's no reason to "invest" much effort, time, dev/ tech resources into fixing a game and ensuring its friendly playfulness as from 10-15 years ago, to a game that shall become soon just a "retro 2,x" on a (few) dedicated server(/s) ?
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Been 3 days now since I posted this. Nothing has changed, no reply from Moderators, not here, not in Ankabox, not on Twitter. Bots are still running on full speed.

Just to prove my point, here's a video I recorded today, Tuesday 31.5.2022:
www[.]youtube.com/watch?v=fsSO3bX_3aU (Remove the brackets)
Under 5 minutes, a 4000pod perc got filled up with 550kk worth of loot.

There's apparently bots also running around at Jellies/Brakmar City Walls/Ice fields (as of today when I looked around), and probably other areas. Enjoy the free loot folks (as long as you can place perceptors).


Still waiting for that almighty banhammer to appear

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Wish you best of beastest wildest luck!

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Yet, do you dare to bet on one of the two:
  • - you shall get a reply here + Ankabox + twitter, and bots shall be removed asap;
  • - your post will either get edited or set invisi, cuz "one aint permitted to post names / facts from game/ screenshots/ blbabablaa/ whatnot", but to ... do what you guys have been trying to do for weeks, some, months: contact a MOD/ Ankama employ with access to forums/ Suport.


I bet a 5ooo kama purse on ... [ unspecified, for forums safety reason ] ... tongue
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The guy didnt show any of the bots names so Ankama cant claim he made a mistake by openly sharing the bots info and chatting to the guild shows up on pretty much everyone who youtubes a video so they cant ban him for that either

bohemia#2044|2022-05-31 16:50:05
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Wish you best of beastest wildest luck!

.
.
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Yet, do you dare to bet on one of the two:
  • - you shall get a reply here + Ankabox + twitter, and bots shall be removed asap;
  • - your post will either get edited or set invisi, cuz "one aint permitted to post names / facts from game/ screenshots/ blbabablaa/ whatnot", but to ... do what you guys have been trying to do for weeks, some, months: contact a MOD/ Ankama employ with access to forums/ Suport.


I bet a 5ooo kama purse on ... [ unspecified, for forums safety reason ] ... tongue
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Score : 4125
Angelsnow#6707|2022-06-01 03:38:19
The guy didnt show any of the bots names so Ankama cant claim he made a mistake by openly sharing the bots info and chatting to the guild shows up on pretty much everyone who youtubes a video so they cant ban him for that either


I aint claiming he made a mistake, just saying, what might happen ... or might not ... huh (considering history of ig proof being posted on forums ... and the history of speed of bots eradication or ghost bustering) ... huh

And ... I aint even placing my bet openly. huh




PS: How about you, though? Where would you place an hypothetical bet? You're not even suggesting being on one side or the other ... pensive

It's like:
  • - I were to say, "the moon is pink, or it is purple" ;
  • - then, "pls place your bets : " ;
  • - a) on "either the moon is pink with pink flying unikorns inhabiting it cheerfully" ;
  • - b) or on "the moon is purple with purple dragoones inhabiting it happily" ;
  • - and then "my bet is ... (not telling openly)" .
 
I am not here to argue about either pink unikorns or purple dragoones exist, I am sorry if I gave that impression. wub
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mendezstyle#6490|2022-06-01 09:31:45
That is so backwards... I can't even begin to describe it.

The weird thing is that there weren't any actual fights to spectate, so how was the preceptor getting full exactly? Were fights over before they even began? And where were the actual bots themselves?

In any case, it is shameful that this thread has gone unobserved. Truly and despicably shameful.

So I went there to check it myself yesterday, here is what I've found:

* I placed a perc with 5k pods, it took less than 8 minutes to fill.
* Judging by the rate of increase in pods over time I suspect there to be at least 4-5 teams.
* I actually saw a group of bots, 4-man team with 1 hitter (184 level sac) and 3 leechers (100-120 levels)
*Their fights last about 40 seconds, no spectators allowed of course.
*Average loot value of the perc is  ~650kk, which is crazy considering how fast it gets full.

I also went ahead and placed a perc in jellies and one in brakmar city walls. Brakmar city walls area is free from bots but jelly peninsula is not. Although there are bots in jelly peninsula ( I've spotted a group full of eniripsas) it takes half a day for a perc to get filled, so it isn't as bad as LC. Average value of the perc is similar to LC.

It is sad to see the server is getting overrun by bots.
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Hey again!


Been a week now since my initial post. Nothing has really changed yet, bots are still running like normal, and no response on Twitter, ankabox or here, on the post (even though there's posts by ankama in the forums, which is odd). But glad so many have found interest in this topic, and actually care <3 Bamboozled by the amount of likes we got

Someone was asking for a video during the week, me showing the bots in Lord Crow's (since they weren't visible in the first video I shared)... so here we go
Lord Crow's Bots - YouTube

Another question was how the perc got filled up, when there were no fights going on on the map. Perceptors collect loot from the whole area, so even if fights are done 10 maps away, a perceptor will pick up some loot. But important to remember that each perceptor in the area (that aren't yet full) share on the loot that is dropped. So if there's 2 newly placed perceptors (and nothing else), it will fill up half the speed, compared to just having 1 perceptor out.

Hope ya'll have a nice weekend smile

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Ooooohhhh, certainly not saying you claimed he made a mistake, just sharing that the guy has followed rules so Ankama cant suddenly change them and sanction him for his posts.  Would be a douche move if they did. 
I'm certainly on  nykarleby99#6702 side, he has valid points with proof AND stuck to Ankama's rules about not showing/posting names and those characters in the Youtube videos are the generic skin so no identifying features there. 
It all further cements and intensifies an impression that it is not a case of "cant" do anything about the issue, more a "wont"

bohemia#2044|2022-06-01 03:47:13
Angelsnow#6707|2022-06-01 03:38:19
The guy didnt show any of the bots names so Ankama cant claim he made a mistake by openly sharing the bots info and chatting to the guild shows up on pretty much everyone who youtubes a video so they cant ban him for that either


I aint claiming he made a mistake, just saying, what might happen ... or might not ... huh (considering history of ig proof being posted on forums ... and the history of speed of bots eradication or ghost bustering) ... huh

And ... I aint even placing my bet openly. huh




PS: How about you, though? Where would you place an hypothetical bet? You're not even suggesting being on one side or the other ... pensive

It's like:
  • - I were to say, "the moon is pink, or it is purple" ;
  • - then, "pls place your bets : " ;
  • - a) on "either the moon is pink with pink flying unikorns inhabiting it cheerfully" ;
  • - b) or on "the moon is purple with purple dragoones inhabiting it happily" ;
  • - and then "my bet is ... (not telling openly)" .
 
I am not here to argue about either pink unikorns or purple dragoones exist, I am sorry if I gave that impression. wub
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Score : 841

It has been 2 and a half weeks now since I posted this. Still no response from Ankama on any platform, though my avatar has gotten reset for some reason(after having it bugged as a spider or about 2 years), so guess they have seen this post but don't really care, not sure.

Bots are still running in Lord Crow like normal, or was at least earlier this week when checking. They disappeared for a day or two last week but came back, maybe they got banned by a MOD? Not sure. Or just a maintenance break hahah.

Ice fields are still active, and probably in Jellies and other areas then also. It's sad that me and my comrades are collecting names of bots, giving them to ankama, but nothing happens. Basically doing half of the work, just to be received by a brick wall. Room for improvement on this field smile 

If nothing happens with the Lord Crow bots within 2 weeks, or no response on any platform/this thread, I will try alternative ways of getting attention to this matter. 


Take care folks, enjoy the summer. I will keep you updated as usual smile Love the overwhelming support this matter got <3

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It's crazy how Admins/Mods are creating/replying to other threads but purposely ignoring this one. I remember the period of time when the English community was promised more 'attention', as if that wasn't something that should have already been happening.

This thread though? Something's fishy. Deliberately ignoring one of the most upvoted threads in this forum is criminal, especially for the nature of why it was created.

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Hey everyone still following up on this Thread <3


So it has been exactly 3 weeks now since I first posted about this issue.... About 2 months now since we first started reporting about the Lord Crow and other area bots...

And this is the situation:

Tested Saturday 18.06.2022

Took 3 minutes to fill a perc full.  

Have a great weekend folks smile 
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Score : 45

It's pretty friggin hilarious how nothing at all is being done about these bots and the general resources bots camping ores & trees. Reporting players does frick all. Played this game for 3 weeks and already notice how painful the situation is. Keeps this up Ankama and your games will all soon be dead.

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Just imagine, maybe, that they're 10 bots appearing at some random times at some random wells in Astrub, carefully gathering most drops of water from it.
Then just imagine that the company making this game catches and can document the ban of half of them, to eliminate them, by banning them with fully justified reason using a new program available named BotsCatherWTG or w.e.
But 2 more bots come in the next days.
Then imagine the company saying loud and proud: Heyyy, we cought half the bots and we were able to document reasonable banning of the accounts using BotsCatherWTG which currently is focusing on Astrub wells; WE SHALL CATH AND BAN TEHM ALL IN THE NEXT DAYS TO COME, EVEN THE NEW ONES !!!!


Nowaaaa ...
If those bots were yours, then :
  • - you'd either have a look at that new program available online to be purchased, BotsCatherWTG, see how it works, and try to counter it, with better and more evolved bots;
and/or :
  • - you'd move operation base from Astrub wells to Incarnum ones.


But !
  • They are rules forbidding us, players, to talk about our sanctions etc.
While!
  • I have no/ zero/ null, clue on how the rules go for the company and its communications towards its player base.
Though!
  • As you can see from the (utterly silly and mildly simplistic) example from above, even the slightest hint on what tools the company uses to catch bots, or what area they're being focusing at a given time, on what resources, the amount of bots noticed and/or catched, would be kindof counterproductive, as explained above.
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So, these are just some random thoughts of mine...
... Maybe, just maybe, worth enough as to be considered, for half second, at least?!
Cuz this could partially explain what's going on "behind the scenes".
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Score : 841

Thing is that Dofus has a formula named :"Antibot_money_transfer_limitation", basically accounting for character level, when account was created, time played in total, and other factors - to determine if you made an account just to sell kamas, or if you're an actual player. It's running in the background while you are playing the game. I support the fact that they got a formula like that to prevent kamas selling bots.

BUT...

Why haven't they yet added a formula to determine if it's a bot team, or if it's an actual player. Feels like that's where the focus should be, the bots that crash the whole economy on the server, and not the ones that sell kamas.
Just a suggestion on how it could be built up (for the ankama devs scratching their heads over how I found that Antibot formula):

"formulaName": "antibot_team",
"Formula": "Spectator mode is activated mutliple fights in a row? Red flag/// Takes average time to kill a x loot mob in the area, if it's significantly shorter time than that, Red flag /// fresh accounts spamming mobs in same area for hours? Red flag /// Colors randomized? Red flag /// Gearless (except the group leader)? Red flag /// Full inventory, but still killing mobs for hours? Red flag"


It has been a full month now since this Thread was created, and the bot problem is just getting worse and worse. Been over 2 months now since our first reports, no word back from Ankama or Dofus Moderators. Nugget prices have gone down from 350kamas each to 150kamas each in under 6 weeks. 
How?
Bot teams farm mobs in certain areas and recycle the resources for nuggets. Some new alliances with very few members have been seen with several hundred thousand nuggets in their prisms, not just once, but multiple times. You need to have insane amount of resources to get up to that kind of nugget numbers in prisms. 
 

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Echo as a server has no active mods/admins wich is a serious problem, the economy is getting destroyed. 
All it would need is one mod/admin to check the treasure hunt area and see thousands of gearless enus run in and out all day. 

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Thousands of subscribed bots? that is a lot of revenue for Ankama. 

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Quite impressive that there's no reply from ankama 5 weeks after the Thread was posted. Also, bots were still in Crow's domain 2 days ago

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You can often see bots stuck in a loop at Astrub zaap where the 8 accounts come from the zaap (look like recall pots are used) then move left to the bank one after the other. Once they all moved to the bank map they respawn at the zaap and move to the left to the bank map again, over and over for hour.

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These bots are farming around the frozen lake too, and I believe every nugget is being sent to this 1 account:
https://imgur.com/a/iE9bCb6 *how about you just lock this account up?

@mod pls do something we are literally getting screwed by a simple problem you can't solve

*Update 
I believe these are the bots, seeing them fighting the same spot; less than 20 secs every fight
https://imgur.com/a/dZkgLiB

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On Ily I've seen the jelly bots banned and lord crow bots banned. Used to see the whole jelly field cleared and lord crow teams everywhere. Still think there are plenty of other bots at frigost penguins and treasure hunter bots, hence why treasure hunter prices such as roses of sand have tanked so much as well as map pieces. 

I also personally think there are arch hunter bots, as I see the same exact accounts, all day everyday, doing the same pattern at low level areas such as turtle island. Funny enough I think an account of theirs got banned and they made a new one, as they have a different name now, but follow the same patterns. Explains why it is so hard to find arches @ turtle island, minus the fact a lot of people go there, of course. 

Also, Smithski, I've seen similar on Ily at wild canyon. There are bots at the south west corner of the canyon that just keep going between maps constantly for hours. No idea what happened to them. Maybe they broke, are testing something, or someone teleported them and they bugged out.

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@apelalaa#6163 had a good catch Today morning. There's 2 merchants at [-3,0] selling insane amounts of Rose of Sands and Nuggets.

The merchant selling nuggets:


It's about 600mk worth of nuggets, and they are underpriced, since he knows he otherwise wouldn't get them sold.

The merchant selling Roses:

About 100mk worth of Roses. They have been around 150-200k each now past years. Same thing here, selling them hella underpriced to get them sold, and fast.

Bots are also still running in Lord Crow's Library, and as @big560#9171 mentioned (That I didn't know of when I wrote this Thread in the first place) There's an insane amount of gearless characters doing treasure hunts non-stop every now n then. 

I was also told 3 days ago, through Ankama Twitter, that they now have read this Thread and are checking up some things to get a proper answer. Hopefully we get to hear from them next week... and hopefully something is then done about these bots that totally have ruined the economy of Echo. Funny how Nuggets were worth about 200 kamas each when I wrote it (and that was super low compared to what it has been past 2 years), and now they are sold for almost half of that price.


Hope you all have a nice weekend <3
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It's weird to me how instead of selling a little bit at a time, they just shamelessly show how much they have. Lol

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