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Old 08-01-2008, 05:06 AM   #61
shasarak
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Originally Posted by Fiendish View Post
You still don't get it.
There is just the simple fact that many people desire a bot-free environment. Those people choose to play on MUDs that cater to those desires. Other people may choose to play on MUDs that cater to different desires.
I get it just fine, actually. The question is not whether certain players hate 'botters, the question is whether that hatred should be indulged.

To take a counter example: if certain MUD players want to play on MUDs where they can be assured that no other player is black, or that no other player is gay, is that a desire that should be indulged? I'm quite sure there is a sizeable market for MUDs that are institutionally racist or homophobic - lots of players would flock to such a MUD, and it would prove very popular in some quarters. But (IMO) it would still not be the right move to set up a MUD like that. The simple fact that the desire for a certain MUD ruleset exists in a certain minority of players is not, by itself, a good enough reason to supply them with one. You also need to demonstrate that the desire is a reasonable one.

If players' dislike of 'botting is an irrational dislike, based on unthinking emotion and without any logical basis, then should we be indulging them by pandering to it?
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:30 AM   #62
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Originally Posted by shasarak View Post
If players' dislike of 'botting is an irrational dislike, based on unthinking emotion and without any logical basis, then should we be indulging them by pandering to it?
Humans are by definition not rational - apparently irrationality works well.

Racism is widespread in d&d with elves hating drows, dwarves hating orcs, etc. Given that playing muds is primarily a white thing there's no point for racist policies. Some affirmative action might be justified though, I'm sure it'd be appreciated when advertising to give blacks and gays 10 free levels, as compensation for past and current discrimination, to create a more diverse, and hence more wonderful, mud.

I've always wondered what the social consequences would be on a mud where females had roughly 33% less health and strength. A code would undoubtedly develop where males attacking females are considered ill behaved and harassed by large droves of male players. If a female player turned out to be a male - a transsexual of some sort - I don't think the moral code would apply, which would result in some serious 'gay bashing'.

Many men and women would probably be outraged at the ridiculous thought of women being physically weaker than men however.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:21 PM   #63
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

Scandum - I have an "IQ" over 120. I happen to *know* people that where at one point in Mensa. The common characteristic between those of us who think IQ tests are BS, while having high IQs, is that we try damn hard to understand how the world really works. The common element among Mensa people is that you are about 500 times as likely to find loonies among them that believe the moon landing didn't happen, space aliens are secretly working with the government, Crystals or Magnets from Atlantis "heal" people, or just about any other sort of unproven woo possible. These are people that **think** themselves so much smarter than everyone else that they quite happilly latch on to any old insane idea, defend it with all the skill and genius they have, no matter how invalid, and spend more time learning how to solve the next "puzzle" that makes them **look** smart than they ever actually spend thinking.

Ironically, this is directly anologious to botting. Someone else codes the bot, a new guy comes along that is smart enough to adapt it to their mud, but they have no clue how to deal with other people in the game, what some of the rules are, or, perhaps, even how the bot itself works 100%. What they do have is a whole list of metrics that the "game" set up that say that they are geniuses for being able to "solve" the puzzle of killing 500 trolls in 10 hours, or defeating the Great Red Dragon, or what ever. They may be complete idiots socially, in terms of the overall game world, or, possibly, even in terms of fully understanding what the bot they use does. And the guy that coded it in the first place, might still be a complete twit with respect to the first two. High IQ means someone recognized that you where damn good at IQ tests *period*. But even ex-Mensa people will tell you that **thinking** that makes you great may actually help turn you into a complete idiot, and that the only quality of the crazy ideas, and how convoluted and hard to pick apart their defenses are, changes once people become "convinced" that their all their ideas, even the stupid ones, are better than "dumber people's".
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:15 PM   #64
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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I find it interesting that no scientific research has been carried out at all to try to understand this phenomenon.
This is some, its just very hard to find, usually it is wrapped up within another line of research, but for those who want to trawl through databases of journal articles there is actually a lot out there. Funnily enough, while reading this discussion thus far, there have been 4 occasions during this thread where i have gone and looked up current research because of some profound statement of fact that i felt were just completely wrong. Mostly tho, this thread has been people giving their opinions, so i have not chimed in with any real research evidence that supports or dismisses anyone persons line of argument.

Could you imagine a thread on TMS where the flames are over citation style and poor use of scientific materials. LOL
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:52 PM   #65
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Originally Posted by shadowfyr View Post
These are people that **think** themselves so much smarter than everyone else that they quite happilly latch on to any old insane idea, defend it with all the skill and genius they have, no matter how invalid, and spend more time learning how to solve the next "puzzle" that makes them **look** smart than they ever actually spend thinking.
You know what they say, greater minds think in greater circles, and I've observed quite a bit of that myself. A high IQ doesn't solve emotional issues, and people with 130+ IQs (2% of the population) are often more likely to have emotional problems because they grow up as outsiders because they're too different from the norm to fit in. It's in the 115 to 130 IQ range that you generally find the socially successful people.

This however doesn't change the fact that in a technological environment people with high IQs have the edge, and if anything should be labeled subjective it'd be social skills, not intelligence.

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Could you imagine a thread on TMS where the flames are over citation style and poor use of scientific materials. LOL
We save that for Wikipedia Please share any research you've ran into, it'd make a very interesting addition to the tread.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:50 AM   #66
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Originally Posted by shasarak View Post
I get it just fine, actually. The question is not whether certain players hate 'botters, the question is whether that hatred should be indulged. To take a counter example: if certain MUD players want to play on MUDs where they can be assured that no other player is black, or that no other player is gay, is that a desire that should be indulged?
Sorry, but this answer demonstrates that you really don't get it on several fundamental levels, so I'll just keep trying to help you. Also, I must say that I'm impressed by your uncanny ability to draw a parallel between gaining an unearned mechanical advantage and skin color or sexuality. Wow. Really? Just wow.

Quote:
I'm quite sure there is a sizeable market for MUDs that are institutionally racist or homophobic - lots of players would flock to such a MUD, and it would prove very popular in some quarters. But (IMO) it would still not be the right move to set up a MUD like that.
You're about a hair's breadth away from invoking Hitler. If that's where you want to go with this, then so be it, but you might want to step back and consider how ridiculously specious your argument is that a rule that prevents an unearned mechanical advantage in a competitive event is equivalent to a rule denying entry to homosexuals. One prevents circumvention of game mechanics, and one does not.
But beside that...
If "lots of players would flock to such a MUD" and the MUD administrator agrees with racist or homophobic ideals, then it most certainly is the right move to set up a MUD like that. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it "The Wrong Thing To Do, thus spake The Lord".

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The simple fact that the desire for a certain MUD ruleset exists in a certain minority of players is not, by itself, a good enough reason to supply them with one.
You have it backwards. The MUD exists. The players go to it. The players do not first go up to a person and say "We want you to build us a MUD." You might as well be arguing that the rules for Backgammon or RISK shouldn't exist. Some other rule set might be equally viable and worthwhile. But then you wouldn't be playing those games.

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You also need to demonstrate that the desire is a reasonable one.
It's not any less reasonable than regulations on what kind of bat a MLB player can use or on what kind of bike a participant in the Tour de France can ride. If you want to use a metal bat or a recumbent bike, go somewhere else. And, really, no, you don't need to demonstrate anything.

Quote:
If players' dislike of 'botting is an irrational dislike, based on unthinking emotion and without any logical basis, then should we be indulging them by pandering to it?
My dislike of network television sitcoms could be considered an irrational dislike if you think that they are great. There's not any metric by which you can objectively evaluate the rationality of like or dislike for a certain type of television show. So now you're saying that networks that don't show sitcoms shouldn't exist because they indulge my irrational dislike for that subgenre. Maybe my dislike for Tolstoy is irrational to a person who likes 19th century Russian literature. So now I can't make a book club that refuses to discuss Anna Karenina, because you say that my preferences shouldn't be indulged. You're out of your mind.

Last edited by Fiendish : 08-04-2008 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:45 AM   #67
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Originally Posted by Fiendish View Post
Sorry, but this answer demonstrates that you really don't get it on several fundamental levels, so I'll just keep trying to help you. Also, I must say that I'm impressed by your uncanny ability to draw a parallel between gaining an unearned mechanical advantage and skin color or sexuality. Wow. Really? Just wow.
I am sure it is very convenient for you to believe that I said that, because it is a great deal easier to argue against than what I actually did say.

What I actually said was simply that the fact that certain players might want a particular type of MUD is not by itself sufficient justification for supplying it. I then cited a MUD that excludes players on the basis of their ethnic bakckground as a particularly clear-cut example of something which should not be provided, despite the fact that some misguided players would welcome it.

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If "lots of players would flock to such a MUD" and the MUD administrator agrees with racist or homophobic ideals, then it most certainly is the right move to set up a MUD like that.
If you are really that comfortable with racism and homophobia then you and I have nothing further to discuss. (But I would think twice before inciting racial hatred on a public forum if I were you).
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #68
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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What I actually said was...
What you did was attempt to draw fallacious moral equivalence.

Quote:
simply that the fact that certain players might want a particular type of MUD is not by itself sufficient justification for supplying it. I then cited a MUD that excludes players on the basis of their ethnic bakckground as a particularly clear-cut example of something which should not be provided, despite the fact that some misguided players would welcome it.
You continue to get the relationship between game and player backwards. The players are there because the MUD is the way it is, not the other way around. "Because I want to" is perfectly sufficient reason for making any MUD. There is no further "justification" necessary.

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If you are really that comfortable with racism and homophobia then you and I have nothing further to discuss.
I believe in the fundamental right of any person to say whatever he or she wants. If a person wants to make a MUD about racism, then it's not any of my business. I'm not sure which god on high fingered you as the priest of The One True Path, but your abhorrence of free expression is appalling.

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a particularly clear-cut example of something which should not be provided
Provided? See, this is the lack of understanding that I'm talking about. The game gets made. People go to the game. The game is not provided upon request.

Last edited by Fiendish : 08-05-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:02 PM   #69
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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What you did was attempt to draw fallacious moral equivalence.
That type of inanity was pretty much what killed the discussion.

Everyone who knows anything about game design, has thought about this issue for more than 5 seconds, and doesn't want to simply be a contrarian understands why so many games ban botting. They also understand why some games allow it, and why the people who play those games enjoy them. It really isn't a complicated or difficult issue to understand.

The absurdity of the argument that banning bots is universally "wrong" is reduced to such absurd measures as comparing bot banning to creating anti-homosexual muds or muds that ban people because of their race. There really isn't much else when trying to defend an indefensible position.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:55 PM   #70
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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(But I would think twice before inciting racial hatred on a public forum if I were you).
If you live in Germany the police will certainly come knocking on your door at night if you express your dislike of a group that's under protection of political correctness. I have nothing against Germans - but fascism seems to run deep in their veins - whether it expresses itself against the Semite or the anti-Semite.

Fortunately most of us live in a nation where freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution and you don't have to worry about being bullied by the government if you happen to be the 10% of the population that has a different opinion, and also not too afraid to express it.

Many people however reject freedom of speech, and feel that 'the people' need to be protected from 'the people' that say "bad" things. Mud owners however will do as they feel is right, and that's their good right, as far as I'm concerned.

Out of curiosity, you happen to have German ancestry Shasarak?
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:28 AM   #71
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

My take of macros/triggers and botting.

As long as player is keeping that window at sight when certain operation is running, it should be fine.

Idea is that, if other player is coming to same room, then they can have In Character chatting at the same time when, for example crafting script/routine is going on.
Same for speedwalking and pre-scripted routes, for example frequently visited shop and home. As long as player can stop the movement, and start chatting with other player who the player character sees in mid route, it should be fine.
Same for other frequent small actions, like opening door, going throught, closing door behind.

But I guess, you others are consentrated about cases, when someone makes character, downloads certain client, and downloads huge botting add-on and lets it run couple of months.

If that gives any relevant advantage to that "player", then your MUD is actually single-player game, what just happens to be online.
Only way to interact with players is to have bigger Score or Level than other guy. Obviously we are not talked about ROLEplaying related games.

Think the way that makes use of botters.
Instead of having shop where Iron Bars are sold, make mine, and create procedure where players must manufacture own Iron Bars and perhaps sell those to other players - actually even better if they can't sell products to NPC, they have to search player who buys those 10000000000 Iron Bars they have. And let few players handle that Iron Bar production in whole world.
Their characters are then not actual players, they have become NPC:s.
... And that what they have willingly choosed to be.

And if storage room has over certain amount of products, then make some products be destroyed by Rats. Or make that storage room hold certain amount/mass of items, instead of being unlimited capasity.
"Hmm... where I put these 37*10E374585 brown shoes I have been done."

Point and score competition can be taken away by hiding those numbers. No levels, then no level competition.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:59 AM   #72
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Point and score competition can be taken away by hiding those numbers. No levels, then no level competition.
You certainly could do something like that. But then that would be a different game. Many people actually enjoy getting points. Those people play games where points exists. Those people also want to, for the most part, not have the global point earning numbers tainted by botting.

Quote:
If that gives any relevant advantage to that "player", then your MUD is actually single-player game, what just happens to be online.
A game need not be 100% about enforced group role-playing activities in order to be a multi-player game. You can't claim that leveling solo suddenly invalidates all other player interactions. And besides that, so what? What's the point of this attempted distinction? It doesn't really change anything.

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Only way to interact with players is to have bigger Score or Level than other guy.
The ONLY way? I think not. A MUD is more than just a score ladder. Not that a MUD can't have a score ladder, but having one doesn't make your game a MUD. Look up a game called Progress Quest for an example of something that fits your description. You'll see that it is very unlike any MUD.

Last edited by Fiendish : 08-06-2008 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #73
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Same for speedwalking and pre-scripted routes, for example frequently visited shop and home. As long as player can stop the movement, and start chatting with other player who the player character sees in mid route, it should be fine.
Umm. I use speed walks for two reasons - 1) Its not always easy to remember "how" to get some place, and 2) I may need to get there fast. Reality is, most of them, unless they are generated mud side somehow, with ways to interrupt them, can't be. Mushclient's certainly can't, but then, I also don't like how limited those are, the fact that I can't break them up or add commands to help deal with the bottleneck built into the mud I play on, or call up specific ones. I scripted one. But, if I wanted it interruptable, I would have had to make something way more complicated, and there just wasn't any real point to doing that, since most places I need to get "between" won't have people in them anyway, unless they are traveling to some place else too.

In any case, why can't you have rude people, if they want to be? Now, if you scripted one to solve a complex puzzle every time you needed to get into the mad mages tower, or something, ***that*** would probably be crossing the line they draw where I play. Its expected that they spend some time to think something like that through, where, on the other hand, just opening a door people normally think about so little that, when distracted, they might actual forget they didn't open it and walk into it. lol

In any case, I do think there are lines you shouldn't cross. Something that requires "planning", "thought", or "real time", shouldn't be done via script. Planning means, among other things, figuring out which mob is the next one you want to attack, **regardless of**, whether you are the only person in that area or not. Some of the absurdly complex combat some muds have... Sorry, but they don't prevent botting, and unless you type like a fracking maniac, you are **already** at a mechanical disadvantage to anyone that can type faster. Scripts to handle "some" of the details actually level the playing field, for anyone who isn't dumb enough to use a client that can't run them.

And then, there is the question of just what exactly you mean by "advantage". I have a script that gives me an "advantage", because it gives me an estimate of how many potions I can make, given the ingredients I have in inventory. A client that has a map system gives an "advantage". Clients that support display of map data separate from the text, if your client can read it, provide an advantage that others don't. Scripts recently written for the newest Mushclient allow limited mini-windows, which can provide display of what quest you are on currently, better display of your stats, a list of spell ups, etc. All are "mechanical" advantages, but no more so than if someone kept a box of tokens next to their computer to set out, to tell them what spells they are using, or a notepad to write down the quest they are on. Its more automated, but nothing they couldn't do otherwise, and there are bound to be some people out their that can keep track of most/all of it without anything at all.

The distinction made where I play is - It has to be player initiated, it can't do multiple things that directly send commands to the mud, and, if it does, then its purpose must be to gain information, not actively do something "in game". So, one may be able to summon a pet, name it, and tell it to follow, but *not* summon it, tell it to attack a mob, then when it dies, summon a new one to attack. There has to be a break in the sequences some place, where the client isn't reacting to the world's output by recasting a spell, or doing something that directly effects its mechanics, but the "player" has to be the one telling the game what is happening. Speed walks are pretty much the only case where you can go beyond that, and again, if you solve some puzzle in 1/5th of a second every time, admin is going to eventually notice and want to have a chat with you... lol
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:46 PM   #74
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

Ok, If I sum this up, can we all agree something like this:


* Botting is bad *
If scripts/triggers/aids are the kind, what you can left running 24/7 for a month and your player character "developes itself".


* Botting/scripts/aids are tolerated *
If those aids help the actual playing, when player is aware of game's happenings, and can react to those.
like:
* Travel scripts, where character goes from point A to point B - most propably in safe environment.
* Manufacturing scripts.
* Script to change gear set, like taking off combat wares, and putting "civilian clothes" on at character's own house.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:21 PM   #75
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

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Ok, If I sum this up, can we all agree something like this: ...
Well, I'd agree that many MUDs have rules set up that way. But I don't agree with the notion that either way is necessarily "bad" or "good" without some additional qualifying statements. They just provide for different game experiences. What the administrators and players expect from the game is what determines whether something is bad or good. You might have a game focused on designing competitive bots, for instance. I wouldn't enjoy making or participating in such a game, but I'm sure that some people would.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #76
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

It takes 1 skilled knowledgeable player to write a good bot/script that functions as it is supposed to.

It takes 1 minute for said player to upload the script file.

It takes 1 minute - 1 day for the dumbest internet user/player to follow the steps to install the above mentioned script/bot.

Bots and intelligence are not correlated. The best working bots or programs may very well belong to the best players in an specific area, but a bot is a piece of code that anybody can install and use (you could argue: thus leveling the playing field *ugg*).

In any case, I tend to agree with an approach that renders the motivations to bot low. You can focus your game in the interactive way, make something that is hard to script (unpredictability etc). Another approach is to have heavy policing, which requires a huge investment of man-hours just to check if people are typing their commands or if it is their computer doing so.

At the end, anything I have seen in a MUD can be botted. Generally this is true because there is no much room for dynamic variability in the games I have seen, nor do I know exactly how you would accomplish the required variability. Also, games that have an strict set of rules regarding anything (bots included), tend to have a very clear explanation of the way their game works. The game is consistent and as such you can program an interface to react to its environment.

As games become more complex, the value of writing a piece of code to assist your playing will increase without necessarily diminishing the amount of enjoyment you can draw from playing.

For instance. Take GodWarsII, it has an awesome combat interface, you have hundreds of different options to attack every other second, you need to be careful with your stamina so that you do not tire up, you need to coordinate your many locations with which you can attack/defend/cast. Given the fluid combat the game has, you can either type each two-letter command during a fight, so that you maximize your flexibility to react or ... you try to trigger alarms for the different things that may go sour during the fight and automate a reaction to those specific things. You may also write aliases for commonly used sequences of combat too, and soon, you are typing: #alias fbb ls;ls;lp to make your life easier (this is a poor example of the type of alias one would want to use, but take it as a general dummy one)

So, the richer in features and things you need to be aware of a game is, the more value there is in having your computer keep track of essential information and even on having the computer react in the critical times where you have to respond within a short time-frame.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:09 PM   #77
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

IMO for the most part mud bots are harmless because with the exception of PVP games, there is no real competition between players other than for bragging rights about levels, monsters killed or some other meaningless number that no one really cares about.

On the other hand FPS and poker games can be totally devastated when people use poker bots, wall, ghost and stat hacks and aimbots to aid them in the game play. In this situation, when bots are used gameplay can totally break down and make the games unplayable for the honest.

In both of these types of games there is direct competition between players, kill or be killed or win or loose lots of money and with the excpetion of full pk games where botting does not seem to happen all that much, due to the risk of your toon being killed, regular muds do not have such competition. In PVE, everyone is going to have to spend somewhat equal amounts of time getting to the end game, some will do it very slow, others will be faster and some will use scripts to gain an eficiency bonus.

I am in no way an advocate of 24/7 scripted botting, but i do advocate using scripts to make things more efficient.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:56 PM   #78
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

Personally, I've always felt that botting was the inevitable outcome of any game where the gameplay was so simplistic, the rewards so necessary, and the experience so boring that a person decides they'd rather not be bothered to play through that part. That also presumes that there is some sort of "endgame" that makes it desirable to continue (otherwise, why play?).

But whether or not you agree with that, the other issue that's been mentioned here and there in this thread, but hasn't seemed to evoke much discussion, is the use of intelligent assistive scripting. By this, I mean systems that are meant not to bot, but to micromanage a combat. When this is applied to PvP combat, the question becomes: just how much more efficient/powerful can a person be if they let a script shave time off of any "dead time" (e.g. between a cool-off time going off and their next action), or react to specific injuries/effects?

In any competition, the question in my mind is: what is the competition about? Intelligence? Dexterity? Who has the most time (i.e. grinding)? Who has the most money (i.e. pay for perk)? A combat system where a person can become twice as good adds in: who has the best client/who is the better programmer?

None of these is essentially "wrong", but a game that wishes it to not be about the client/script could be upset about such things. It would be like bringing a chess computer to a match.

I'm not sure what can be done about it, if anything. I've heard of games obscuring letters to make it harder to trigger off of, but I think that's not very successful, and at some point, even the humans can't react.
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:22 PM   #79
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Fury View Post
IMO for the most part mud bots are harmless because with the exception of PVP games, there is no real competition between players other than for bragging rights about levels, monsters killed or some other meaningless number that no one really cares about.
I don't know what kind of games you play, but I have played PvE games that are far more competitive than many PvP games. If you do not think there is "real competition" on non-PvP focussed games then you haven't played many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhiroc View Post
Personally, I've always felt that botting was the inevitable outcome of any game where the gameplay was so simplistic, the rewards so necessary, and the experience so boring that a person decides they'd rather not be bothered to play through that part.
This is often one of the justifications for botting, but it rings pretty hollow to me. It always sounded like an excuse for bad behavior from someone who knows deep down it is bad. I'm not saying that's how you are using it, I'm just saying I've heard that argument many times before and it always left me with that feeling.

Keep in mind that botting rarely has anything to do with how fun a game is. No matter how awesome and fun a game is to play, some people will still look to get an advantage by running a bot while they are afk, sleeping, etc. In fact, if the game wasn't fun, there would be absolutely no point in bothering to run a bot on it in the first place (unless its WoW and you are selling the gold to make money).
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:30 AM   #80
Aioki_Weyvern
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Re: Triggers, scripts, and bots

As was said earlier in the thread, people who bot & people who dont bot arent in the same competition. If you choose to run a 2k race in hobnail boots, and all your friends are also wearing hobnail boots & you're all going pretty much the same pace, then thats the Hobnail Boot 2k Race. Have fun. But if someone in the lane next to you is wearing athletic shoes, and passes you, and his friends are also wearing athletic shoes, and passing you, but they are keeping pretty even with each other, then dont worry about them. They may be on the same track as you, but they are running the Athletic Shoes 2k Race. If you are so jealous of their speed, put on some trainers.

Just know that this is a different race.
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