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For the instance abbreviated so, see Botanica.
For the instance abbreviated so, see Bastion of Twilight.

In WoWWiki

Main article: WoWWiki:Wiki bots

A bot is a special type of wiki user.

In World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16 This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Also known as AFK gaming, a bot is a method of controlling an in-game character by an automated means that does not require direct interaction from a player. Sometimes known as an "autoplaying game client", this is strictly prohibited by the World of Warcraft Terms of Use Agreement. Most often, a bot uses a series of automated macros to control the character in game.

If you suspect a character is being played by a bot, you are as of patch 4.3.4 encouraged by Blizzard to use the Report Player function. To do this , right click on a player's portrait, click "Report Player For:", choose "Cheating", fill in detailed information and submit.

Bot uses

Gold and material farming

Bots can be used to farm gold, either directly (from gold dropped by mobs), or by proxy (materials that sell for gold). Certain areas in WoW are explored and mapped by botting communities which yield the best rate of gold per hour. But a lot of botters also farm for rare items which have very low drop rates, such as the Hyacinth Macaw from Stranglethorn Vale. Items like these have phenomenally low drop rates (roughly 1 in 1500 for the Macaw) and would be almost impossible to farm without a bot. These methods are also used by gold farmers, professional Warcraft players who sell in-game gold, loot, or services for real-world money. This violates Blizzard's Terms of Use agreement and may get both parties banned, however this is most often not the case as Blizzard has more of an interest in stopping the sellers (not the buyers) of gold trading. These farmers automate the process with bots, either to powerlevel characters unattended or to grind mobs continuously for rare drops.

Honor farming and Leveling

Bots can also be used for farming honor at the various Battlegrounds (this is especially true during Call to Arms weekends). Bots such as Pirox and Honorbuddy even include profiles for all the battlegrounds by default. One of the most popular uses of bots, however, is leveling. This can be done in one of three ways; Questing, PvPing, and pure grinding. Some bots support quest profiles, which automatically perform quests (including quest pickup and turn in). PvP leveling is popular during Call to Arms weekends, which provide double-experience for each battleground played. And pure grinding is simply a basic process to kill certain mobs in certain areas till the player levels. For a long time, from 2005 till 2009, pure grinding was the only method used to level with a bot, since questing profiles hadn't been developed yet, and PvP battlegrounds yielded no experience.

History

Early bots

A number of bots developed by numerous people started appearing within a year or two of World of Warcraft's release, such as Openbot. However, the most notable and famous of which was Glider, which first appeared in 2005. Developed by Michael Donnelly, Glider was noted for it's particular ease of use, numerous features, and robust community. It's strong community created many profiles to use with the bot, and distributed them freely. After it's initial popularity, Glider was developed into a full featured bot in 2007 and sold for $25. The bot and it's community thrived for over 4 years, and over 100,000 copies of Glider were sold (as of 2008). Glider quickly became the de-facto program of choose for most botters.

Glider lawsuit

In July of 2008, Blizzard filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona against the makers of Glider. The lawsuit alleged that MDY Industries, LLC (the company selling Glider) were liable for copyright infringement based, in part, on the premise that users of the World of Warcraft software are actually "licensees" rather than owners of their copy of software. Public Knowledge, a public interest group, publicaly criticized the decision. However, the court found that Glider infringed upon Blizzard's intellectual property and ordered the makers of Glider to pay Blizzard six million dollars. In March 2009, MDY suspended Glider sales and operations, as well as closed their online community. As of September 2009, they are appealing the court decision.

Second Generation

After Glider ceased selling and developing their bot, a number of newer bots started appearing in late 2009, such as there was high demand among the botting community for a new bot similar to Glider. There were already bots out during Glider, such as WoWMimic set of bots that automate all aspects of the game, another was Farmer John Bot. Some other well-known bots were Pirox, Gatherbuddy (aka, Honorbuddy) and MMOLazy. Dubbed the "second generation" of bots, They aren't similar to Glider as they are more advanced and offered more features, control and creation of profiles, and ease of use without External plugins. They have thriving online communities, as most of the previous members of Glider migrated over.

Spotting a botter

There are several signs that may indicate that one player in action could be a botter.

Suspicions

  • Silence: The botter does not normally respond to tells or emotes. Sometimes the botter will have an automated message when one whispers them. Other bots may automatically log out if players repeatedly send whispers to them.
  • Odd Movement: The botter does not move normally. It spins around, jumps, runs in circles, runs in zig-zags, have a pattern in movement, or runs into objects.
  • Questionable Gear: Botters will almost always use BoE gear. Sometimes the gear may or may not be in their level range, meaning some gear being worn is meant for an earlier level while the character is able to wear better gear than that.
  • Default Pet Names: Most botters are usually hunters due to the ease of use of the class. Their pets may have their default names, "Boar" or complete gibberish names such as "argfwega".

Defenses

  • Silence: Sometimes players may not want to talk to others while they are busy playing, and some players may have an addon to produce automated messages for instances for when they do not want to be disturbed.
  • Odd Movement: While WoW can be a bandwidth consuming and high latency game, sometimes players may not have the best connection, causing character movements which may seem "bot-like". such as spinning, jumping, running in circles or into objects, etc. As for patterns in movement can be debatable. A player can perhaps be circling an area farming for loot or gold themselves as a way to efficiently kill mobs in an area once they return to a spot.
  • Questionable Gear: Players may not make as much gold or have the amount of time or desire to go get new or higher level gear by running instances or doing quests. Otherwise, if players have the money, their character may be a twink, a type of character which can commonly be subject to wearing BoE goods from the auction house.
  • Default Pet Names: World of Warcraft gives the freedom to players on what to name their pet, and some may choose to keep its default name. However, gibberish names are against World of Warcraft's terms of use.

Although they may not interrupt you or hamper your current gameplay, botters are considered by some to be a threat to a server due to the excessive farming which can allegedly damage a server's virtual economy, however this is often disputed as there are many examples of economy normalization on servers where there is a heavy presence of gold farmers. You should always report a botter to a GM if you are bothered by one, or if one is interfering with your normal play. You should include the time you have seen them, where you have seen them, and your reasons that you believe that the player is a bot.

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