In my special world of naivety, I had never realized that in game bots were a thing. The people that sold in game money puzzled me. Who would buy in game money? Who would have something automatically play a game for them instead of just play it? What was the point?
Thankfully, I became educated in the seriousness of video games. I learned that some people did not play the game to play the game. As conceptually weird as I found it, I began to accept it. My first MMO was Hellgate:London and I played in a happy little world of just my best friend and I, ignoring the gold spam in the public channels.
Later, when playing City of Heroes I saw the gold sellers. I assumed that they were all scams that ignorant people fell for. It was a lot longer, and until after I started playing Eve Online that I realized people were really buying something they could acquire in game for real money.
Even when I started Eve, I used the 'Report ISK Spammer' function which also blocks the person. It was not until the first time that I visited an ice belt that I saw bots in action. There were two mackinaws (back when they were specalized to mine ice) that arrived at a warp in spot, mined enough cycles to fill, and warped off. Over and over on a perfect timer. "Wow, these are the bots I have read about," I thought. It was as if I had found something.
Mining with a bot seemed easy enough. It almost made sense to me. Once I had tried ice mining it made a lot of sense to me.
Something so pretty should not be so evil...
This brings me around to the more complex bots that are out in the game. Mission bots. Eve's missions are predictable and repetitive. The same things happen over and over. The same action creates an identical reaction each time and people have written automated programs for this.
Enter The Executioner's (TEXN)'s bot Gank Ops.
I have written about TEXNs gank ops. I went on one once as the salvager to see what it is like. They go after blinged out mission runners, probe them out, and suicide gank them. Some rage, some are calm, and some are bots. Last night they hunted down one of their favorite mission bots.
Six Vargurs, identically fit. All killed one after another. All from the same corporation. Each time they die, the pods warp to the sun and sit if no station was in system. If there was a station, they docked. During a four hour period, TEXN popped them one after another.
Catching them involved figuring out where they went, probing and getting to them before the missions were accomplished. Then GCC has to be waited out, ships have to be refit, and wash rinse and repeat.
Tell me a person is sitting there, stupidly undocking ship after ship, losing their ships, warping to the sun and just staying there as one pod did for 4 hours until TEXN wandered along and popped it for good measure. Not saying anything. Not reacting. Just being ganked by the very people that just ganked you and are sitting outside of your station when you undocked looking all ganky.
And since some of the the pods were hanging out at the sun...
Because really? Fuck sec status. Or as Mane said, "Doing the lords work."
20+ bil destroyed. I suspect someone came home and was very unhappy with what they found. This is one of the many reasons Eve is so great. These could have been players, sure, but as bots its sweet and savory.
The bots have been petititoned, repeatedly. A thread was even started on the forums refrence it. Today, they went back out and coutned five more under different names.
Everyone says take Eve into your own hands. Well thank you, we will.