Botting as handled by MUDs

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Mirthe, Apr 7, 2022.

  1. Mirthe Apprentice

    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.
    Quatr and Imforfreedom like this.
  2. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    Here's rules of thumb to decide whether you need to make a new thread:

    1. Is the subject so distinct that you could be accused of derailing another thread? While this is a different facet of botting, there are broad pro-cheat threads currently. I wouldn't put it over the distinct threshold.

    2. Could this thread be merged with an existing thread and feel compatible/seamless? Yes, it could be merged seamlessly in with the existing pro-cheat threads.
  3. Genjo Lorekeeper

    When did Benito get elected offical forum monitor. Bentio you may not like he started a new post, but you can skip it as well. Stop derailing people posts.
  4. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    Many players are tired of duplicate threads. Though, admittedly, individuals like me and Vumad have been more vocal about cross-posting.

    Here are the forum rules:

    Vumad and Elyssanda like this.
  5. Genjo Lorekeeper

    your not the enforcer of rules..... your just another guy paying 15.99 like the rest of us... find another placxe to troll
  6. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    Duplicate threads and cross-post not only causes spam but forces people to re-state the same arguments (copy-paste war).

    Edit: You are probably right. I should be less vocal and simply report duplicate threads to the CM. I will be doing so in the future.
  7. Svann2 The Magnificent

    Must be really embarrassing to tell your guild you cant make raid because you got banned. Maybe you could tell them youre out of town or something.
  8. Hepp New Member

    Or you can be in a guild where most of the leaders get suspended, then play alts / other chars instead during their suspension all while asking everyone to keep it as quiet as possible so the news doesn't spread. True story :p
    Folkken and Svann2 like this.
  9. ProForumWarrior New Member

    You seem to be the one spamming every post
    Endorek, Bardy McFly and Fenthen like this.
  10. ProForumWarrior New Member

    I enjoy boxing, we grew up boxing while the rest of you quit to play WoW. AFK farming is lame. I wish there was a distinction but were all caught up in the same mess and called cheaters these days. What happened to boxing 6 man groups with boxing software? When did that become cheating. It was okay when the game was dying but not now?
    Bardy McFly likes this.
  11. error Augur

    I mean, every MUD I ever played had a one-character-per-player policy and botting was an immediate ban. I don't think you can really generalize MUD rulesets, they're all ran by different individuals/groups with their own thoughts.

    Regardless of what select MUDs do, botting is clearly detrimental in EQ. It devalues the work of legitimate players by flooding the market with automated drops/currency and it monopolizes content such that legitimate players have no choice but to buy things from bot groups that they would rather obtain themselves. "Semi-automated" isn't really any different from botting, two RMT guys taking turns overseeing 50 VMs of bots doing their thing and responding to tells when alerts go off to prove they're there are "semi-automated" by definition, and that's how a lot of RMT works.
  12. Windance Augur

    I played on dozens of MUDs and none of them were tuned around "the holy trinity" play style.

    I can't remember a single MUD where there were more than two or three people in the "node" unless it was around the starting / safe areas.
  13. Vumad Cape Wearer

    Stop making new threads about botting.

    He's not trolling. The amount of new threads about botting is ridiculous. They are not presenting new ideas, positions, concepts, etc.
    Nennius likes this.
  14. Arkanny Augur

    Burn the botters, spanish inquisition style.
    Nennius likes this.
  15. Overboard New Member

    haha ... the angry EQ masses are so disturbed that their tinfoil hats are getting polished daily! Yes, the righteous few know how things are meant to be !
  16. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    While Joe manually plays his characters to gear up in one set of Type 5 augments over several months, Tom sets his automated crew for full sets of different Type 5s and goes to the bar.

    This is a just system.
  17. Overboard New Member

    A just system .... Joe needs to stop polishing his helm so much and go have a drink at the bar !
    Bardy McFly and Fenthen like this.
  18. Nennius Curmudgeon

  19. Burdi Augur

    Playing baldur gate on EQ engine looks cool.
    Is it requiring some advanced knowledge?
    Do you need LFG to do it ?
  20. Elemental Augur

    This dude is stupid should really get a reality check. GM's will show up within a minute of reporting an AFK botter and suspend them, trust me I've done the reporting. Stop trying to make up your own reality of what you think this game is. You are a joke dude go get a life
    Vumad, Endorek and Fenthen like this.