Monday, February 12, 2007

My Epic Mount and First Encounter with a “Bot”

After hitting 60 I figured my next goal would be to earn an epic mount. I didn’t really feel I needed one until I hit the battlegrounds and realized how slow I was in comparison. Having about half the required gold, I decided to spend two weeks doing nothing but farm and play the AH.

I mainly farmed for Elemental Fire. Being an Alchemist I can use this in a greater fire protection potion or sell it on its own. I believe it is a component in other professions too. So I basically farmed the fire elementals in Arathi Highlands. This is where I encountered my first “bot”. I have heard about them, but never saw one in person.

It was a Dwarf Hunter with a pet. I realized he was different from a normal player in that when I was attacking a mob his pet would also come and fight it. Typically if a live person is behind the keyboard, they stop and go on to another mob once they realize someone else is on the mob they originally targeted. Needless to say, this guy’s pet went for every single mob that respawned. So at first, I looked at it as a competition, but then felt completely robbed as the pet’s dash or whatever allows it to get to mobs a whole lot faster than I can. So I whispered the guy, being nice I first said hello. He didn’t really respond. I heard from a pod cast I listen to, that if you talk to a bot they usually log off. That is exactly what he did. So I had the area to myself for about 5 minutes, then he came right back on.

It was really something to watch this guy. I was on my mount on top of a rock watching him. He would move in jerk like movements in a circle – standing in place. It was not the fluid movement you typically see from a player. It would send his pet before the mob even started to appear. One time the Hunter sent the pet without having a view of the mob. There was a rock between him and the mob, a big rock. So when I ran down next to the Hunter to see – there was no way he could see that mob spawn if it was a real person.

So I reported him to Blizzard and decided this was war. I started whispering him more. Every time I was on a mob his pet would come attack and I would whisper for him to stop attacking my mobs. Then I would whisper him to be more of a hog. I asked him if he spoke English and he finally replied and said no he didn’t speak too good English. So I continued to whisper him to knock it off when his pet attacked a mob I was on. And he would reply sorry no speak English. He continued to take my mobs and I continued to whisper him. He finally put me on ignore. I added him to my friends list in order to track him every time I was on.

So after two weeks of farming and selling stuff on the AH, I earned 400 gold. A big accomplishment for me, but one I don’t really want to have to do again. Especially since I had to deal with a bot, they really do have an unfair advantage.

WOOT!! My Epic Mount – isn’t she pretty?

So are you wondering what happened to the bot? Well, after seeing him every time I logged in he was still in the Arathi Highlands and I saw what he was selling on the AH – he is no longer in the game. It was about a month after I reported him that Blizzard made an announcement of account bans, and I have not seen him since. I am sure he is back under a different name, but I am still happy to see him gone.

Since that experience I have come across at least one more bot. It was kind of funny. This one was in Azshara, farming for fel cloth. He got himself stuck in one of the little tents. I just stood there and watched. He was running in place trying to loot a corpse, but the program didn’t recognize that he was in a tent. So I took screen shots and reported him. I have not seen him on since either.

Remember, if you see a bot, report it right away. Blizzard may seem slow to act, but they want to make sure they are not banning the wrong people.

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