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Stop the Bot problem

By ---gordeous-- July 13, 2010, 13:50:17

Heyhey~

About the Bot problem, which is a very annoying bother in dofus, I've found the following solution.
I'll try to explain in a couple of steps:

  • What are bots?
  • Why are they a problem?
  • What does Dofus do now to stop them?
  • How well does it works?
  • What is the solution have I found?


What are bots?

Bots are a sort of programmed virtual robots who gather ingame materials to sell for kamas, which they sell for real life money. -$$-
Ofcourse, Botting is illegal just as buying kamas from a bot. Because they ruin the economics of the game.
Here's a link to the [Official] Bots topic

There are two sorts of bots: gathering bots and selling bots.
Gathering bots: They gather the items to sell for kamas and in order to do so, they must kill the monsters as quick as possible.

Selling bots: They advertise the sites where you can buy the kamas for real money
Look yourself, by just typing "Buying kamas" in google you get a whole page of kamasselling-sites. -$$-

Why are they a problem?

Well, Bots are mainly a problem because they assure (real life) rich people to buy much kamas. Which makes them partly manipulating the economic of the server. Which ofcourse leads to a broken economic.
[Important also] They take the monsters away from the people who want to fight them. Which makes leveling as a free to play (and gathering items) very hard.
I mean, would you play a game if you had almost no chance at all of gaining experience because some programmed Bots kill the monsters before you? I wouldn't...

What does Dofus do to stop them now?

At this moment, the Dofus team banns the bots they see, also they have made up a few restrictions to non-subscriped accounts:
Ruyhn|2010-07-13 20:05:00
For example:

[ (this is an image) F F F 1 3 8 F X Z 6 F F ]
Question: add the total value of the cyphers to the amount of F's
timer: 1 min

Considering this requests a little thinking work it would it even make harder for the employees to handle them all withing the timer.
(they could let it show up on all bots that by linking the code to a specific IP or network)

Another Idea would be that once the question is answered wrong or not within the timer, it would show up more and more frequently. Let's say it's start with every week, then hop to once a day, then each hour, and finally ending up with showing up every 10 minutes.
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Agreed. While free players might think it's annoying, it's better than them not having anything to fight in the first place.

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HCMongoose|2010-07-13 14:37:00
Agreed. While free players might think it's annoying, it's better than them not having anything to fight in the first place.

here's the thing, they won't be thinking it's annoying because they will get a gift from it (if amakna will make it so at least)
would you think it's annoying to waste 10 seconds to fill in a code while you will get 1%xp from it? biggrin
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Score : 7685

Um... you know that bots are run by people, don't you? They're constantly monitoring the bot anyway, to replace them when they hit the 200 message or fight limit, to bring on new ones online when they're muted or banned, etc. It's also these bot-runners who bypass the already-existing captcha required for creating a new account.

So a system that gives players free stuff for entering a captcha just means that the bots will be getting free stuff when the person running them enters the captcha, in addition to everything they're doing now. This idea HELPS bots, not hinders them.

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QUOTE
So a system that gives players free stuff for entering a captcha just means that the bots will be getting free stuff when the person running them enters the captcha, in addition to everything they're doing now. This idea HELPS bots, not hinders them.

well, schmendrick..

You do know that those so called bot runners mostly don't sit behind their computer, playing on dofus while the bots are running? that would be a waste of time... Because while your bots are running, you could easely do something fun, or even work to get more money (real life money)

the bots also react this fast that it's (almost) not possible for a human being that controls the bot to make them react this fast on 8 accounts.
Also note that it's not the Bot but the player who makes the accounts, so it's not the bot but the player who passes the captcha, though it's the bot who plays the game and not the player.

And I don't know how you would know, but I did play dragonica, and I must say that the botting stop does works there, so I have proof that my statements are correct. even though all what you state there.
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I think the OPs got a good point there. Because I see more positive facts about the method he proposes to stop botting. The method Ankama uses now isn't that effective as his. It also discourages f2ps to pay, because they cant do anything by the bots.

I also hate it that bots keep spamming me to buy kamas, before I could put of general chat, now they pm people I cant do anything to ignore them without ignoring my friends.

Thumbs up for gordeous tongue

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Score : 7685
---gordeous--|2010-07-13 15:33:00
well, schmendrick..

You do know that those so called bot runners mostly don't sit behind their computer, playing on dofus while the bots are running? that would be a waste of time... Because while your bots are running, you could easely do something fun, or even work to get more money (real life money)


Actually, they do exactly that. The majority of the bot-runners are the ones who work for giant RMT companies in Asia. They get paid minimum wage to make sure the bots keep running with no interruptions. They do nothing but sit at their computer(s) for eight or more hours, making new accounts, replacing bots when they get banned, and generally keeping them running constantly, while the company they work for provides the programming that actually make the bots work. It's a crappy way to make a living, but it's easy unskilled work in places where most unskilled work involves back-breaking physical labor.

The "problem" of having to enter multiple captcha codes at once is not a problem at all, because it's just a matter of staggering the logons by a couple of minutes so that the captchas don't all come up at the exact same time for all the accounts.

It's clear from posts like this that most people who suggest solutions don't even know what the real problem is. This idea would deter a couple of script kiddies in their basements, who start up bots and then leave, but it'll do nothing against the dozens of huge botting companies and their hundreds of employees — except help them by giving them free stuff.
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Score : 348

First of all I want to mention I play a game where they use the same method and I do consider their system of fighting off bots is efficient and actually works. I conclude that out of the fact I've read ancient messages of players of complaining about the bots. After they've introduced the codes the complaints seem to have systematicaly reduced.

I also do believe this system would work in Dofus as well, though it would need some alteration.
Instead of giving away items I'd suggest a free full heal, as it is not really a gift and would not directly help increasing the amount of kama the bots earn. Though it would still be usefull. Also, a disconnection isn't that effective, as they can use computer programs indeed to log in again automatically. I'm thinking more of a warp to town, or at least saved zaap point. This would take them more time to get back on their hunt track again. Even more effectively, would be they end up in astrub prison (I believe amkana is inventive and creative enough to come with something) for a short period, as happens with pvp ending up in brakmar or bontarian prison)

@Schmendrick : I agree with your arguments, but in the game that I play they added a little timer to the captcha code, and as it is impossible to computers to 'scan and read' it, the employees would have to handle each code manually. And considering we use a timer , it would be impossible to handle all of the codes before the timer runs out, so at least a few accounts would get cought, slowing at least their whole progress down.

For example, this is an example of what they use:

[ (this is an image) F F F 1 3 8 F X Z 6 F F ]
Question: add the total value of the cyphers to the amount of F's
timer: 1 min

Considering this requests a little thinking work it would it even make harder for the employees to handle them all withing the timer.
(they could let it show up on all bots that by linking the code to a specific IP or network)

Another Idea would be that once the question is answered wrong or not within the timer, it would show up more and more frequently. Let's say it's start with every week, then hop to once a day, then each hour, and finally ending up with showing up every 10 minutes.

Finally, I would like to suggest to move the subject of discussion of wether the bots are real people or not to a more interesting point: suggesting on how to alter/improve the idea.

It's easy to break off other's ideas, but it's much harder to come up with a solution because let's be honest, none likes bots, not?

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First of all, dofus is very international. Actually, even having a considerable knowledge of English language, I am still not sure what is the right answer to that example question you posted as I simply don't know the word 'cypher'. Now imagine that some 12y.o girl from poland gets the message asking her in english to calculate some cyphers with some values. She'll get stuck with her jaw dropped for 2 minutes - leading to account ban.
Moreover, I saw a lot of people having p2p and 60+ levels that do not understand english at all. So some 'thinking' would only make it worse.

QUOTE
I play a game where they use the same method and I do consider their system of fighting off bots is efficient and actually works.

Well, I tried googling 'Draconica bot' and found several applications that were allowing you to set up your bot manually. This means, that in draconica players using this tools could not use them no longer. So yes, the amount of botters significally decreased.
Now try searching 'Dofus bot' - and you will find none. The only thing you find will be 4 year old video on some player showing his qewl bot working. This means, that there are almost none solitary players using bots - they have no tools to do that. Leaving dofus with professional asian botters. So generally it will not work at all in any case.

Sorry, no offence, but imho this idea will either not solve bot problem at all, or not solve the problem and will make trouble for normal players.
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The thing about this captcha is that they'd have a minute to open it. On Eight or more characters, that's nearly impossible. Just have a simple captcha like,
"Wzt29VakGT". It's long enough to take a while, and would hinder progress by teleporting half the owner's bots to Astrub. (Since he probably wouldn't have time to type em all)

This may discourage workers who would then not be nearly as efficient. (No copy/pasting in captchas)

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SubtleMaster|2010-07-13 23:19:00
and will make trouble for normal players.


Not necessarily, because the captcha would be for f2p players only since bots don't get p2p.
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Stykuvv|2010-07-14 03:11:00
Not necessarily, because the captcha would be for f2p players only since bots don't get p2p.

You never seen a Jelly Peninsula bot? Bots aren't just f2p.
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I agree that the system would be much less effective to Dofus, as we have to deal with much more professional botters anywayz.

Another problem I noticed now is would be the difficulty when you are logging multiple accounts, while still not being a botter.
I must admit that in the game I play is action-based hack-and-slash, making it almost impossible to log multiple accounts there, so they don't have that problem there.

Also, it would be easy ending up seen as a bot, while you were just afk when the code popped up.

@SubtleMaster: Indeed I see the issue with languages, but maybe they could add a button: "select language of the question" on international servers. And sadly, I have to admit there could come complaints of people mad about the fact that the questions are to mathematically advanced.

However, I still believe there is future for this idea, but once again, it needs A LOT of alteration.
So let's keep the ideas comming and if you have an entire different idea, don't be afraid to come up with it. wink

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---gordeous--|2010-07-13 20:59:00
here's the thing, they won't be thinking it's annoying because they will get a gift from it (if amakna will make it so at least)
would you think it's annoying to waste 10 seconds to fill in a code while you will get 1%xp from it? biggrin


I'll bet the journey from L199 to L200 will be much easier if this is implemented exactly as it's laid out.
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Score : 117

u could put up some question thing that comes up like each 50 fights like:

________________O____________________|
_____________________________________|
_________O____________O______O______|(black background and white dots)
_____________________________________|
_____________________________________|
_______________O_____________________|

how many dots are there?

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finalfantasyseven|2010-07-14 13:19:00
u could put up some question thing that comes up like each 50 fights like:

________________O____________________|
_____________________________________|
_________O____________O______O______|(black background and white dots)
_____________________________________|
_____________________________________|
_______________O_____________________|

how many dots are there?


Any bot can answer it and even faster than human does xD
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Capwi|2010-07-14 12:33:00
I'll bet the journey from L199 to L200 will be much easier if this is implemented exactly as it's laid out.

heya Capwi, thanks for popping in in my post wink

but the catch here is that it doesn't actualy have to be %xp that you will get, a free full heal would be wonderfull also
(thanks Ruyhn)
It wouldn't happen during the fight, but after a fight ofcourse, otherwise it would be easy to win a fight (in PvP)
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Score : 348
SubtleMaster|2010-07-14 14:52:00
Any bot can answer it and even faster than human does xD

Dunno, seems kinda tricky to me...
I'm sure there's a catch! After all, those dots looks extremely suspicious to me... I don't trust them
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Entering a code according to a picture sometimes doesnt do much unless its been scribbled over as bots can identify shapes, as for "FHSHFJDHFDHFHD".
Spotting the number of Fs can be really easy, as bots can use a find command.

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Also another problem I found with this system is that I can't use all of the keys on my computer (because my idiot brother, Gobtec can't stop chewing on filled water bottles long enough to know they are about to spill), it may just be that I need to stop playing long enough to go and get some real money and buy a new keyboard.

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