It is time for a discussion of how the botting industry actually works and the myths propagated by game publishers like Blizzard and Daybreak. The relation of Botters, Gold Farmers, hackers and criminal activity needs clarification. The anti-botting propaganda put forth by various game publishers is too vague and leads players to inaccurate conclusions about botters, security and botting in general.
Game publishers complain that botting can ruin in-game economies, but they fail to mention that it can also stabilize a game economy that has priced players out of gear or crafting items that were meant to be attainable without hours of grinding. Botting can often contribute to the reduction of insanely overpriced player sold items. In games like WoW or EQ2, it can be the difference of being able to afford crafting materials or not being able to afford player sold items at all.
Game publishers warn you that Botting can drive prices down so far that items aren’t profitable and leave out the part about making items more affordable for average players. They don’t mention that they already control the game economy with what are called “sinks”. A sink is an NPC or service that take the gold out of the game when players buy it. A player spends their money on the “sink” and it never recirculates into the game.
Players don’t seem to understand that botter is not synonymous with hacker. Botters use third party software to automate portions of game-play. They don’t hack into the game, the software they use is written by somebody else. They aren’t hackers for running a bot any more than a player using an officially sanctioned mod or add-on is a hacker.
Gold sellers aren’t hackers either. They can’t all be painted with the same brush. Gold sellers want to sell you gold, not hack your account. It’s just their job. They are paid for it. It’s a paid position that isn’t in a sweatshop. For many of them it is one out of very few options to make a meagre income. Sure, there are some nefarious gold sellers that use ill-gotten credentials to liquidate items and gold from unsuspecting players for re-sale. That doesn’t describe all or even most of them however. Trying to say that everyone in a particular industry is a criminal because of the criminal acts of a few is just a scare tactic. Truth be told, the bad apples of the gold selling industry aren’t even hackers. They don’t do any actual hacking of accounts. They use often publicly available information to gain access to them. People fall for phishing attempts and give this information away all the time. The information is sometimes even given intentionally to power levelling services so that the service can log into characters and level them for a fee. Some of these power leveling services turn around and resell the credentials to shady gold sellers. Bottom line, Botters aren’t hackers though many of them are gold sellers. Not all Gold sellers are shady. Botters don’t hack your accounts and steal your gold, you give away your info and get compromised. Big difference. Don’t pay somebody to play your characters for you and don’t give away your passwords. Duh!
Botters do not steal accounts, steal your in-game items or gold, or sell your accounts. Nobody personally hacks individual accounts one at a time to steal gold or game items Botters are usually players that get bored with portions of the game, or have time constraints. Normal botters are just sick of the grind. They like playing the game, just not all aspects of it. I don’t think botting is the solution, but it’s fast and easy. Botting is not hacking, it is simply automating aspects of game-play. These players have no use for your account and usually don’t even know how or where to sell gold and accounts. They are interested in their own in game goals, not hurting you. Sure there are gold sellers that use bots to farm for gold in game, but again they aren’t interested in hacking your account or stealing from you.
People are often ignorant enough to use the same email and password for everything. If you buy power levelling services your account can be compromised even if the service doesn’t use your credentials nefariously. Passwords are stored in a database at these sites and just as susceptible to security exploits as any other site. It is amazing just how many accounts are “hacked” after willingly giving information to a company to power level characters. If you are lazy enough to use such a service try changing your password before and after instead of blaming botters.
When a bot is purchased, the developers of the bot are spending their time providing a means protection from being detected, updating the bot new game patches, fixing bugs, and providing services you would expect from any other software developer. They would lose money by taking the time to steal your accounts or gold. They simply develop the bot software. Selling customer account information and hacking accounts would put them out of business. It is common sense.
I’m not claiming that botting is okay. When it comes to aspects of games like PvP bots can make them almost un-playable for others. I’m just pointing out that game publishers have misdirected your security concerns in an effort to prevent cheating and in some cases third party competition in virtual item sales. I don’t choose to use a bot or third party hack to play games but it has nothing to do with all the propaganda or licensing issues. I just like to play games the way they were meant to be played and I enjoy the challenge of doing it myself. If it becomes boring I move on to something better.