How to Spot a Bot
Some people, for some obscure reason, prefer to let a robot play for them instead of playing the game. They are what we call a “bot”. You can find them running around and skinning or mining or picking flowers.
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If you have killed an animal and you are about to skin it and you see a player arrive and skin it before you have time to do anything, try this: Kill another animal and just wait. If you see the player stand by and just wait for 20 or 30 seconds, it is a bot.
On a PvP realm, I take a malign pleasure to kill the bot every chance I get. The honor it gives is fine enough (if you have a DK or a hunter, arrange it so your pet get the kill each time, it will give him repairs and if you kill him many time, it might cost him a lot).
You can find bots in dungeons and in battlegrounds too. In battlegrounds, it is especially a problem because it punishes the whole team and you can’t just kick the bot out of the battleground. He is not AFK, so to speak since he goes around and heals or fight (badly, but he is not AFK). Bots in battlegrounds have been a big problem. I have seen cases when half or even 3/4 of a team was made of bots.
Remember: You can report the bot to Blizzard. They don’t act at once, so to speak. They won’t act if the guy is botting from time to time or for a very short period of time (or they will act much later). Often, they rather keep information and gather data. It is not to penalize players, but it is to find out if there is a farmer around. Some chinese who is leveling other people for (real) money or selling accounts.
So Blizzard does a lot of undercover works, gather IP-numbers, follow them to see if they are all connected and how they are. Then they ban. When they do, they rather ban a whole bunch of robots than one at the time.
They also gather informations on the one player botting and, sooner or later, the ban will fall. And note that it might be a definitive ban. Whatever gear the player has bought with honor/conquest/valor points is ripped off and the player get a ban (temporary or definitively, depending of the gravity of the botting).
So even though you might think that you keep on seeing the same bot week-end after week-end, be sure to report him each time. It will pay off.
But how do you recognize a bot? Here are some advice:
- They all take the same, identical, path. They may vary by 10 yards to the left or right around tree trunks etc. but in the open field they are exactly in a line. They turn at the same exact spot and everything.
- They never leave the starting grounds first, and all mount up in the same position.
- They have an odd pause when they dismount to start attacking.
- Getting stuck on minuscule things like fence posts or a branch in the open field and doing nothing but going back and forth into the branch the entire game.
- Healers – they have a tendency to run up to an enemy in a BG even through that’s suicide. It appears it is trying to attack before it tries to heal.
- You will catch them running the entire time without a mount. Don’t know why but this is confirmed.
- Some have a simple reply system, like saying “hi.” This will throw off some but will do nothing if you ask them something even a four-year-old could answer like “what’s 2 plus 2 equal?” or “What color is the sky?”
- A bot will not kite you around a corner or bait you into a fight, they are 100% forward until death. Then, rinse and repeat.
Be sure to report them.
Since patch 5.3, Blizzard deactivated the /follow possibility on battlegrounds, which stops a lot of bots. Of course, there are developers working on circumventing that but that takes a lot of the load off the battlegrounds and some automatically new system actually spots the bots on battlegrounds.
I could definitely see it in the last battlegrounds I was in. No more bots… but many more noobs in quest-greens who misunderstood the 65% base resilience of the new patch, and believe their gear is as good as PvP gear (which it is not in battlegrounds). However, there is no ban against that, and since they were mostly on the opposite team (Alliance), it was fine with me.
So keep Azeroth free of bot: Keep on reporting them where-ever you meet them. I do.