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Bots...the great skeleton in the Pre-CU closet.

Beatnik59Beatnik59 Member UncommonPosts: 2,408

You know, I was talking in a thread about the whole "antisocial atmosphere" in today's MMOs in The Pub the other day, and it got me to thinking...when did this whole antisocial atmosphere come about?

I have to think it started with us in Pre-CU.  Because when I think back to Pre-CU (or am reminded of it via "dreams" and "flashbacks"), all I can think about was how AFK we all were towards the end.

Blame it on the Hologrind or blame it on the lack of content or so on, but it seems to me that we never really had much use for interdependence, roleplay, and making the game work for everyone.  Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers.

I mean, how else can we explain why buffbots like Brhia had crowds around her at all hours, her owner netting millions...even "most helpful player" awards, when the actual entertainers who were live had hardly anyone around them?  If that isn't an indictment of us, I don't know what is.

How else can we explain the medbay rollers, the AFK lootbots, the doc buff bots, the sampler bots and so on unless we really kind of resented having to "play"...let alone "play with others"?  If those aren't an indictment of us, I don't know what is.

It would be something else entirely if botting was seen as something shameful...something unacceptable that we had to do out of sight, behind closed doors and out of public discussion...but we didn't do that.  Instead, we flaunted bots, saw nothing wrong with bots and defended botting far more readily than we would defend...say...the entertainers.

The most telling thing, to me, is how we all made excuses for ourselves about how botting was--at the least--a necessary evil and--at worst--better than live players.  Guilds, for example, felt nothing wrong with parking a buffbot in the cantina, while at the same time having their entertainer and doctor members play live in the cantina.  The need for buffs on demand trumped all.

Frankly, I would hope we who really believed in the game's vision would do the necessary things on our parts to encourage play.  But I guess this game showed me, more than anything, that our typical pre-CU player would rather throw the spirit of the game under the bus if it meant achieving some goal or gaining some mechanical advantage.  So much for sociability...so much for the great player interdependence of games like these.

Did pre-CU really have a "player economy"?  Or did it have an economy that rested on a foundation of bots and alts?  We may think the former, but the truth was the latter.  You'd think that after pre-CU, we would have learned our lesson and avoid bots and botting.  But if my dreams are any indication, we didn't avoid bots...we double downed on them.

Now that the live run is over, I think it's high time we have an honest talk about botting.  Do you regret doing it?  Do you regret using them?  Perhaps we might even say to ourselves that we really...deep down...have no use for the kind of complex contingencies that relying on live players produces...that's fair.

But one thing is for certain...this game was infamous for eliminating entire professions out of existence long before the NGE.  Only the ones doing the eliminating weren't the devs...they were ourselves.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

Comments

  • sludgebeardsludgebeard Member UncommonPosts: 788
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    all I can think about was how AFK we all were towards the end.

    Blame it on the Hologrind or blame it on the lack of content or so on, but it seems to me that we never really had much use for interdependence, roleplay, and making the game work for everyone.  Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers.

    Very sensationalist title, im sure you will get some hits from it. On the real though man, this isnt true in the slightest and your also super-generalizing a population that im sure (as more people will attest that come into this thread) didnt use bots at all and werent effected by them.

     

    Heres the truth for those that want it. 

    Yes Bots were used for things like Music/Dancing in Cantina's, Harvesting, and even for Content Mobs.

     

    Did it destroy the game? NO.

    Was it so Rampant that the community was hindered by it? NO.

    Did macroing destroy the economy? It inflated costs, most defiently. This was apparent after about week 4-5 when all of a sudden a starter CDEF Pistol was on the Market for roughly 10k credits (It originally sold for 3-4).

     

    The main point though is that, this line you wrote:  "Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers."

    Just plain isnt true, Macroing was used to remove "The Grind" from the game, not avoid other members of the community. And again most people that played SWG will to this day say they played for that very community. Your always going to have people in MMO's who want to be the best and will find anyway to maniupulate content. 

     

    But to generlize about the entire SWG populace and say that we all got bored in the end and Macro'd to avoid each other is insulting and plain wrong.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Member UncommonPosts: 2,408
    Originally posted by sludgebeard
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    all I can think about was how AFK we all were towards the end.

    Blame it on the Hologrind or blame it on the lack of content or so on, but it seems to me that we never really had much use for interdependence, roleplay, and making the game work for everyone.  Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers.

    Very sensationalist title, im sure you will get some hits from it. On the real though man, this isnt true in the slightest and your also super-generalizing a population that im sure (as more people will attest that come into this thread) didnt use bots at all and werent effected by them.

     

    Heres the truth for those that want it. 

    Yes Bots were used for things like Music/Dancing in Cantina's, Harvesting, and even for Content Mobs.

     

    Did it destroy the game? NO.

    Was it so Rampant that the community was hindered by it? NO.

    Did macroing destroy the economy? It inflated costs, most defiently. This was apparent after about week 4-5 when all of a sudden a starter CDEF Pistol was on the Market for roughly 10k credits (It originally sold for 3-4).

     

    The main point though is that, this line you wrote:  "Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers."

    Just plain isnt true, Macroing was used to remove "The Grind" from the game, not avoid other members of the community. And again most people that played SWG will to this day say they played for that very community. Your always going to have people in MMO's who want to be the best and will find anyway to maniupulate content. 

     

    But to generlize about the entire SWG populace and say that we all got bored in the end and Macro'd to avoid each other is insulting and plain wrong.

    It depends on who your community was, I suppose.  If your community included the PvP/PvE powergamers, then the bots didn't affect your community.  Indeed, they were probably an integral part of it.

    And, honestly, I don't think it was how you characterized it...it wasn't to "avoid" strangers.  Frankly, I don't think the vast majority of folks really cared enough about strangers to either attact of avoid them.  It was, like I put it, to "not have to bother" with strangers...in other words, not having to rely on the chance that an ATK dancer would be at the cantina...not having to rely on some random, ATK doctor to buff you when you needed it.  

    Is it malicious to want to remove such random contingency from your game?  Not especially...but to deny that it didn't have ripple effects is to deny the countless of threads I saw on the O-boards and elsewhere that testified to the contrary.

    If your community included the roleplayers, or the entertainers, or the immersion junkies or the healing docs then yes...the bots did affect your game...perhaps game-breakingly so.  I can't tell you how many of my friends in the cantinas and in the field quit because the ambiance got so lame...nothing but seas of macrotainers, macro'd carnival barkers and floor tumblers.  You may have done it all to reduce your grinds...but did you ever stop to think that it really messed up the scene for others?

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • Enforcer71Enforcer71 Member UncommonPosts: 780
    Originally posted by sludgebeard
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    all I can think about was how AFK we all were towards the end.

    Blame it on the Hologrind or blame it on the lack of content or so on, but it seems to me that we never really had much use for interdependence, roleplay, and making the game work for everyone.  Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers.

    Very sensationalist title, im sure you will get some hits from it. On the real though man, this isnt true in the slightest and your also super-generalizing a population that im sure (as more people will attest that come into this thread) didnt use bots at all and werent effected by them.

     

    Heres the truth for those that want it. 

    Yes Bots were used for things like Music/Dancing in Cantina's, Harvesting, and even for Content Mobs.

     

    Did it destroy the game? NO.

    Was it so Rampant that the community was hindered by it? NO.

    Did macroing destroy the economy? It inflated costs, most defiently. This was apparent after about week 4-5 when all of a sudden a starter CDEF Pistol was on the Market for roughly 10k credits (It originally sold for 3-4).

     

    The main point though is that, this line you wrote:  "Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers."

    Just plain isnt true, Macroing was used to remove "The Grind" from the game, not avoid other members of the community. And again most people that played SWG will to this day say they played for that very community. Your always going to have people in MMO's who want to be the best and will find anyway to maniupulate content. 

     

    But to generlize about the entire SWG populace and say that we all got bored in the end and Macro'd to avoid each other is insulting and plain wrong.

    Loved the community, the different cities, the stores, we built what we wanted and ive seen and experianced things in SWG I have never seen since and probably never will.

    Out of every 100 men, 10 should not be there,
    80 are nothing but targets, 9 are the real fighters.
    Ah, but one, ONE of them is a warrior,
    and he will bring the others home.
    -Heraclitus 500BC

  • WarmakerWarmaker Member UncommonPosts: 2,243

    Bots in Pre-CU SWG?

    I'm sure it existed but if you think the MMORPG trend of Bots started in SWG, you're terribly off the mark.

    OP, you make it sound like the game was run by Bots, when it wasn't.  This is most especially so since SWG is old school... it's an open world where you ran into players doing whatever it was they're doing out in the same server world you were on.  There were no different world instances on the same server like "Corellia 5" or something like that.  You saw players do their thing.  Sure, you may see someone's new Rodian doing a macro for surveying or whatever, but general gameplay was not being run like that.  Most especially so since SWG was the last MMORPG I played where players were regularly grouping with each other.  It was the last MMORPG where it was a regular urge to find others and do hunting expeditions on Dathomir or whatever, and those sometimes lasted a long time with lots of socialization in between.

    You can't do that with bots :)

    It is NOTHING at all like today's MMOs with the super prevalence of bots in certain games.

    "I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  • NegativeJoeNegativeJoe Member UncommonPosts: 212

    depends your definition of bots.


    in swg, macro'ing was part of the game. there is no way anyone would have ever done dance or music if you had to sit there and stare at the screen while grinding. i sat and chatted while doing my entertainers more than i have on any character in any game, but i was still afk 90% of the time on while skilling up. i don't consider myself a bot, i consider myself gaining some musician points while sleeping.

    in DAoC, a bot was someone who logged on a druid on his second account, buffed everyone, and stood there. (or /stuck his enchanter alt in pve). while a lot of people were not fans of this, me included, it was a big part of the game.

    in a lot of games a bot is a cheat, programmed to do actions, movements etc by out-of-game software doing things automatically that the game did not intend.

    so yeah, the crafters that were using out of game macros to grind..thats cheating/botting. the entertainers using in-game-macros, you had to..

    ::::26:: ::::26:: ::::26::

  • lugallugal Member UncommonPosts: 668
    When I played, shortly after launch till after the nge, using macro programs like actools was common. Mostly for buffers and healers. I used it to level an alt to master arch and weaponsmith, then I included drinking songs into my macro, to make it entertaining.
    In the begining, on my server, there were very few afk'rs in the game. As there were always full cantinas and med bays. Towards the end, unless you had an active guild, you had to have bot's for buffing and healing. There was so few people playing, you could find us all lined up in front of the same rebel cantina waiting for buffs from the buf bot. Most of what I saw others doing was running a second accout for bufs, then alt tabbing to use it when needed. I think when the player base started getting jedi, that is when bot's became an issue. Many threads about roof top jedi leveling afk. Force pushing droids. Up till that point, 3rd party macro programs were common and used a lot. Then the labeling and witch hunts began.

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    The reviewer has a mishapen head
    Which means his opinion is skewed
    ...Aldous.MF'n.Huxley

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,182
    Originally posted by Warmaker

    Bots in Pre-CU SWG?

    I'm sure it existed but if you think the MMORPG trend of Bots started in SWG, you're terribly off the mark.

    OP, you make it sound like the game was run by Bots, when it wasn't.  This is most especially so since SWG is old school... it's an open world where you ran into players doing whatever it was they're doing out in the same server world you were on.  There were no different world instances on the same server like "Corellia 5" or something like that.  You saw players do their thing.  Sure, you may see someone's new Rodian doing a macro for surveying or whatever, but general gameplay was not being run like that.  Most especially so since SWG was the last MMORPG I played where players were regularly grouping with each other.  It was the last MMORPG where it was a regular urge to find others and do hunting expeditions on Dathomir or whatever, and those sometimes lasted a long time with lots of socialization in between.

    You can't do that with bots :)

    It is NOTHING at all like today's MMOs with the super prevalence of bots in certain games.

    I'd have to beg to differ a bit, places like lord nyax's bunker were filled with players "botting" during late hours, many in my guild used to do it for skill tapes (which they made a killing off of).

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • thinktank001thinktank001 Member UncommonPosts: 2,144
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    Now that the live run is over, I think it's high time we have an honest talk about botting.  Do you regret doing it?  Do you regret using them?  Perhaps we might even say to ourselves that we really...deep down...have no use for the kind of complex contingencies that relying on live players produces...that's fair.

     

    I never played SWG, but I have had a similar experience in a different game.   Players using buff bots is bad for business, but it seems that developers just don't realize this until it is too late, or they don't care at all.    

  • DarwaDarwa Member UncommonPosts: 2,178

    Bleh. Didn't realise someone had necroposted this tripe.

  • JJ82JJ82 Member UncommonPosts: 1,257

    This is all hogwash.

    UO had combat macro bots also, Anyone that played Asherons Call 1 can tell you all about bots and how popular they got after the first year it was out and EverQuest 1 also had them.

    Its not new, the thing that is new is the army of people that complain about things as if they are new.

    "People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

    They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
    http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  • ktanner3ktanner3 Member UncommonPosts: 4,060
    The bots were used because frankly grinding those professions in the game was incredibly boring.The macros were simply used to expedite the process.As a combat oriented player who worked odd hours back then I was glad that they were there in the cantinas and med bays because there were times when they were the only options I had available.Without them I would have been forced to log out.

    No, SWG in the entire time I played it was very social. Probably the most social of any MMO I've ever played.You have to remember there are far more people playing these games than there used to be and many of them aren't used to depending on other people to play a game.

    Currently Playing: World of Warcraft

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