Thursday, June 18, 2020

Bot-drive accounts are tormenting human players in World of Warcraft Classic

Cecilia D'Anastasio for Wired:

For months, clusters of bot-driven accounts have trawled around high-level zones, attacking monsters with uncanny precision before rotating toward their next target in robotic 90-degree angles. These in-game characters are operated by scripts, programmed to optimally kill monsters and obtain rare, valuable items that drop from them. Lately, they’ve been targeting the sought-after Black Lotus, a necessary item for some competitive, high-level play.

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[One player] decided to hold an anti-bot protest in the in-game city of Orgrimmar.

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The bots mass-reported him to publisher Blizzard for “abusive chat.” Blizzard muted [the protester]’s account, and those of other protest participants, for 24 hours. In the meantime, the bots got their Black Lotuses to the auction houses, where they maintained their monopoly.

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Dozens of websites easily found on Google sell code or services that automate the World of Warcraft Classic experience.