Everquest was born out of Multi-User Dungeons or MUDs, which are text-based RPGs. MUDs popularized content tuned around the "holy trinity" playstyle of tank, healer, and dps. They were as much glorified chat rooms as they were games, really, since they predated social media and other cheap easy communication channels we have today. As text games, it was realized very early on that simple macro and scripting programs could be created to help people automate chores like eating food, looting corpses, or remembering how to navigate a complicated area. A very popular one was called TinTin++. Virtually every MUD allowed these scripting clients to be used for 1 character for quality-of-life reasons -- it's hard to type fast enough to not die in a text game! -- and many MUDs allowed 2 or 3 characters to be played by the same person using these scripting programs. For alts controlled in this way, a command issued by the main character would execute a macro on the alts, and/or the alts would have automated reactions to certain triggers happening in game (e.g. when the tank is hurt, cast a heal). MUD developers realized that in order to keep their decreasing populations, they couldn't expect players to try to solo content that was designed with the holy trinity in mind, so they accepted these macro and scripting programs as par for the course. However, almost every MUD put some restrictions on how they could be used. For example, it was not uncommon for a MUD to allow full scripting and macros so long as the player is present at the keyboard. You could report players who were online continuously for suspicious automated play, and developers could pretty easily spot this anyway because they could see a list of how long each player has been connected and investigate anyone who hasn't logged out in a long time. If you'd like to see an example of how MUDs regulate bots, here's a very liberal MUD's botting rules ("bots and botting are completely legal. Part of the reason for this is that it's impossible to really tell if someone is running a bot"), and here's a more conservative MUD's botting rules ("In general, your character should not be performing actions if you are not paying attention to the MUD's output"). I'm not necessarily suggesting any particular course of action, but I do think that since Everquest was heavily inspired by MUDs, it's worth considering how they dealt with the need for solo or duo players to run multiple characters without having to modify years of content. It's much easier to allow players flexibility in how they play than to reinvent carefully crafted zones and mobs. Mercs are part of this in Everquest (and MUDs sometimes had something similar, where you could buy or summon a pet that would fight with you). And there seems to be some amount of leeway in macro programs that make it easier to issue multiple commands on other characters. But semi-automated play is still not allowed in Everquest, even if the player is at the keyboard. Maybe that's a line it will never cross? But I think it's worth considering what the old school games did for this exact same problem, to keep loyal players around and enjoying the incredible content they invested so much time creating.