Friday, February 10

Bots and How They Affect You

If you're unfamiliar with what a bot is inWorld of Warcraft, you should take a moment in game to observe players and their actions. Bots can do a wide variety of things, including gathering herbs and ore, participating in Battle Grounds, and even running instances. Many realm's economies are reliant on the players that choose to bot, and it's very likely, in fact almost guaranteed, that at some point in time every World of Warcraft player who's purchased any end-game material such as herbs or ore, has in fact made a transaction with a bot that collected the items.

With the recent closure of the popularWorld of Warcraft Pirox Bot on January 25th, the effect that bots have in the World of Warcraft are becoming more and more evident. Before the bot officially closed, prices of many materials began rising. Now that one of the major bots on the market is no longer operational, it's very obvious that, although many players may hate botters, the bots certainly help maintain an economy with reasonable prices, and a well-stocked supply of materials to craft with.

While Blizzard continues the legal battles against bots by filing lawsuits on two more popular World of Warcraft bots, HonorBuddy and PocketGnome, one can only wonder what will happen to the economies maintained on the World of Warcraft servers; It's already easy to see that, even with these two bots still operating, there is more demand than supply on many realms, and ifPocketGnome and HonorBuddy are ordered to shut down, the results could prove to be truly devastating, especially on highly populated realms. Imagine having to pay 400g for a flask, or 1500g for each Inferno Ruby.

Bots are becoming more and more intelligent and as a result it is becoming increasingly harder to spot a botter in a Battle Ground; even as the bots currently stand, it's not unlikely for a bot to out-perform many other players in the Battle Ground. While many players find it unfair that a person (who is likely tabbed out, sleeping, or even at work) is obtaining the same amount of honor that an actual player is working hard for, the benefits of botting are endless, and many people are simply tired of battling in the same Warsong Gulch they have been playing for roughly 7 years, or do not want to go through the agony of earning the honor needed on a secondary character (or alt, as World of Warcraft players call them), or they simply don't have the time to do these things on their own.

A quick YouTube search can prove that Battle Ground bots can indeed be manipulated to take them off of the "Route" that they are running on, but a question few people ask tends to be "Is `controlling` a botting character worth doing?" By ensuring that a bot runs off track and gets stuck, you're also wasting valuable time to contribute to your Battle Ground group, and the bot will eventually find itself back on track, be it through many bots anti-stuck features, or by another player killing them.

Players may report bots in an attempt to reduce the amount of bots running around, but many popular bots are undetectable by Blizzard, and it can be hard to prove that someone is a bot, and even harder for Blizzard Game Masters to determine whether they are worthy of a ban, or just a completely antisocial player; While being reported is the usual reason behind someone being banned for botting, many bots have aided you in combat in a Battle Ground, beat you to a mining node, or simply flown over-head while you were questing without you ever even noticing that a human isn't actually playing that character.

Love them or hate them, bots play a heavy role in keeping the World of Warcraft market stable and stocked, and can sometimes prove to actually be more help than a nuisance in PVP. They keep your prices low, and create a steady flow of items every end-game player constantly needs.

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