Bots – Why are they bad and Why doesn’t WG fight them?

Hello everyone,

yesterday, we talked about the problem of bots – or, rather, we opened the issue.

Today, we are going to have a look where the rabbit hole leads. Let’s start by Wargaming’s attitude towards bots. Just to be clear, I will now talk about Wargaming EU, I don’t know the bot situation on other servers, but thanks to St0rmshadow (see the previous bot article), we have a good idea about what the situation on EU server is.

Let’s start by the interesting part. What if I told you…

…that running the most popular and probably the best bot (Tankleader) requires a premium account or gold?

Yes, it does. Let it sink in. Yes, that means that pretty much every botter is a Wargaming paying customer.

According to St0rmshadow, it’s actually impossible to run the Warpack bot without premium account, it just crashes. Others allow it, but the bots lose so much money without premium account it’s not sustainable.

According to the Tankleader webpage, this bot has about 130k users. Count with me. Running premium account is not cheap, so these players (since they already spend about 10 bucks on the bot itself per month – remember, it’s subscription based – they might as well paying for the premium) probably buy the premium account for longer periods. So, let’s say half a year.

On EU server, half a year of premium costs 49,05 Euro according to Wargaming premium shop. So, 130k x 49,05 Euro, that’s 6,376 million Euro. If all of these guys bought a year of premium (remember, they don’t have to buy it all at once, they simply have to operate a bot for an entire year, which was known to happen), it’s allready over 10 MILLION Euro revenue. And that’s just this one bot system – as I wrote, there are more.

So, what would happen, if Wargaming developed a memory scanner tool, that would detect all these bots and got them banned? Yep, instant loss of 10 million Euro. Of course, these guys already paid, but they would continue to do so – to operate their bots. See where this is going?

Now, I am not saying there is some sort of “dark bot conspiracy” – I generally like to use the Occam razor principle. According to it, the reason bots are not fought is most likely simply incompetence. But the implications are there and if I can make this calculation, you bet that people at WG RU can too, contrary to popular belief, the fact they hire fools in Paris does not mean WG RU is stupid – on the opposite, they are very, very smart and capable. I will leave the judgement to you, dear readers.

On to the second topic:

Why are bots a problem at all, since some seem to play better than your average Joe Tomato?

This question came up several times yesterday. The answer is quite clear, but I will elaborate nonetheless, since I feel this issue must be addressed. There are many differences between a tank played by an incompetent player and a tank played by a bot.

- a bot will never understand tactics and what is needed for successful victory. Neither will a bad player, but you can TELL him. If you write “PlayerX, please – if you help me on this flank instead of waiting for the enemy in the base, we will win, come on please” (instead of the traditional “MOVE FUCKING NOOB”), you have a chance that the player might actually listen and help you, he might even learn something from the experience.

- a bot will never help you, he just follows a program, see the previous point

- dealing with a (competent) bot requires completely different tactics, that cannot be applied to player. A competent bot cannot be suppressed, cannot have doubts and always aims for weakspots. It also cannot be “tricked” by peek-a-boo. On the other hand, it cannot improvise. Overall, dealing with a bot changes the gameplay style and destroys “feeling” of fighting other players

- one of the nastiest bot influences is the formation of lemming trains. A bot simply follows program – without thinking, it goes where it is programmed to do straight away. If he goes somewhere straight away, chances are other players will think “he knows what he’s doing” and will follow him blindly. This is human nature – we tend to flock to someone, who displays the “I know what I am doing” attitude, only a few people are truly independent and leaders. This effect can completely destroy a battle.

Imagine a situation on Himmelsdorf. Your hightier heavy tank is a bot. Someone programmed it to go to the hill (regardless of the vehicle type) and so it does and many follow it, since “it’s hightier” and “by moving there he knows what he’s doing” (note that we subconsciously accept someone on the “top of the ladder” as a leader and expect him to lead, even though it might be a bot in this case). So, a bot starts a hill lemming train, all the while the other team’s heavies push thru the “corridor of death” or thru the west, which makes more sense for slower heavy tanks. Instant game loss.

There could be many variants of the mentioned situation, but I am sure you get my drift. Bots fundamentally change the way the game behaves and is played and if there are really (literally) hundreds of thousands of these fuckers out there, they might even have some influence on game balance itself. Think about it – do you REALLY want to have this game balanced around fucking bots? What if bots artificially lower a winrate of certain highly profitable tanks, that appear as “alright”, even though they seem OP to the players? Such a case would of course be an extreme one and I don’t think this really happens, but just imagine it.

I am sure we now agree that this is a bad thing. so, what can be done?

Plenty. First and foremost, eliminating bots based on reports only does not work. There are obviously too many and they are (using naked eye) not that easy to distinguish from bad players. It’s simple math – to certainly uncover a bot, a bot hunter has to watch the replay in detail. With taking notes and re-watching some moments, this takes probably more than 15 minute for ONE bot. I asked St0rmshadow about it – some primitive bots take him literally seconds to uncover, but the insidious ones can take several minutes – and he’s an expert in bot hunting. This is obviously not effective.

Automated means could work better – for starters a bot memory scan like World of Warcraft has. It works fairly well, despite bots evolving all the time. It’s a vicious circle, but it also is a battle that has to be fought. Another way would be to automatically alert WG bothunters to players with suspicious number of battles per day. A guy with 250 battles per day for an entire week straight? Naaaaaaaaaah, it’s not like that’s suspicious AT ALL…

Currently, Wargaming checks the battles per day ration, but only when the player gets often reported as a bot. This should be automated somehow.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Next time, we are going to have a look at some infamous EU botters in the Bot hall of shame.

123 thoughts on “Bots – Why are they bad and Why doesn’t WG fight them?

  1. Well, one shouldn’t play/ or pay these pvp online shooters anways.. they are simply cash-cow’s – and why wouldn’t they be – you will get very likely punked in may ways.. you end up as dumb paying customer, and that’s what you will be in the long run

    Business nowadays, massmarket is focused on revenues only – customer satisfaction is accepted so far as it helps to gain more revenue..

    The idealistic times are over, honor and reliability are luxury goods nowadays in my opinon.. cos it costs too much – it doesn’t pay

    Once seeing things in that perspective, things become obvious rly – not much more to say regarding this topic

      • Why do these programmes require a premium account though? Should that question be asked? I can’t believe it makes any difference to the bot coding, and if money is a problem then the player runs out and has to play himself – but it doesn’t mean premium is *required* to even launch the bot, more that its recommended.

        The other possible reason is that the bot makers want to protect their business by ensuring its in WG’s interest to not go after them. Which if correct sums up how dismally cynical the whole thing is.

        • Did you play with premium account and without?
          I had many battles with and without ..
          without PA -> Reward 45k -> repair 20k, ammo 20k = clear +5k
          with PA -> 45*1.5=67.5k -> repair 20k, ammo 20k = clear 27.5k credits

          and I don’t counting EXP … because you basically need only 650 exp to get 1000 exp with PA

          so if you don’t have premium .. you can earn bit only up to tier 5 – 6.. but on higher tiers you will lose a lot of credits counting in Millions..

          • …I think most people on this blog understand how premium works…

            Doesn’t mean it is *required* to launch a bot programme. It just means unless the bot programme is very good, it wont be able to endlessly grind at higher tiers. Which is why I wrote the bit about recommended rather than required. For example, you could still, with a basic account, use a bot to grind a tier 5 for free xp wihout worrying about credits.

        • It’s a conspiracy? Especially those that crash if a premium account isn’t detected; it should be trivial to allow this. I seriously can’t think of any reason besides conspiracy (that ‘someone’ is encouraging real money purchases through dubious bot design).

    • What’s you problem with paying customers? Are they paying with YOUR credit card?

      I don’t get it – no one gives a single shit if X gives $10 to get himself, i don’t know, cigarettes so they can get some plasure and ruin their lungs, but once Y gives $10 to get some vitual goods to get pleasure, you guys go “Hurr Durr, you’re feeding a cash cow, n00b!”. Not our fucking job what others do with their money, as long as it doesn’t directly harm us.

      ANd let me say this: I’d raher have 1 paying costumer than any guy that plays 10k+ games and doesn’t send a dime – that guy is a parasite.

        • Quite. Seroiusly, I don’t get this attitude of, “I like this game, I play this game BUT I WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE TO ITS SURVIVAL OR DEVELOPMENT AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU!” …do they think that the game would still be here if everyone listened to them?

          Frankly, with the amount of enjoyment and playtime I’ve gotten out of this game, I’d feel like such a shameful miser if I never bought any gold.

  2. SS, what do you think about a separate section like “Lets learn how to detect bots”
    You already showed some examples via the gif’s in the last article.

    Perhaps, St0rmshadow is willed to share some of his knowledge in form of some replays or video-examples.

    If for example the XVM addon shows that a player has 20k battles, a efficiency of 200, a W/R of 44% and he drops his barrel after countdown, this could be a first good hint not to follow him ;)
    Or furthermore make an advantage of the knowledge and follow him just with big distance and use him as spotter ;-)

    just as an idea


    • It’s possible, but this is not player’s task – this is Wargaming’s task. Why should I spend minutes analysing a replay for Wargaming, if I can’t get the guy banned anyway? Then I would have to describe the entire issue in a ticket (so even a… less smart person understands it) and even then I have no idea whether this guy will get banned, the ticket doesn’t just “disappear” or they wipe their arse with it. Too many unknowns.

      • No point raising a ticket, it will get picked up by the automated response system and you will get a standard “we actively hunt bots” reply. The only way you ever get one banned is by badgering one of the community team until they have to either do something or ban you from the forum.

          • It’s not 100% reliable, as when the battle starts sometimes I wait to see where the players are heading, and where would I be useful, and in that waiting period my gun usually drops, because I’m not providing any input to the game.

            • Likewise, when the timer clicks down I usually have my camera facing downward and the right mouse button held down so I can observe deployment. Then I’ll often try and centre my gun and hold rmb again, so I can keep my turret forward until something happens, for aesthetic reasons. (After all, what’s the point of getting a pretty tank if you can’t watch it trundle?)

          • The barrel drop isn’t reliable at all. During the initial countdown the POV is looking at the ground and the barrel will always drop if you don’t move your mouse. It always happen with a platoon mate that alt-tabs during countdown and only returns to game when I yell at him. :)

    • There’s no point in us hunting for bots, because wg won’t ban them. Community officials have stated they had banned bot x, and two weeks later the players who reported him said bot x is back.

  3. I actually see no reason to be upset.

    If they support WG by paying to have bots on, which are better than at least 50% of the playerbase, be my guests! Playing with/against sophisticated AI programs can be more fun than playing with monkeys, plus they support my favorite game. I ain”t even mad.

      • You dont, It would make you even more mad if you do. Ignorance is bliss. That”s what I repeat myself when I wonder what kind of people play this game.

        I have close to 59% winrate, and I dont even consider myself good. I just know how to use the minimap and know a bit about angling, weakspots, and flanking. Thats it.

        I mean i know there are the occasional newbies, but SO MUCH? cmon.

    • I agree with you, but don’t forget the fact that when a bot reaches Tier X usually the player who haven’t played any hightier battles takes over the bot, and he plays with 0 experience.

    • Kozomir you either dont understand , are a troll or have an interest at WG .

      Bots = Single player , the game is marketed as an MMO , hence False Advertising and Theft ! If you pay to play with humans and instead play with bots you are being cheated of the money you paid for . Do you understand ? If you pay for apples and i give you oranges you are being cheated !

      “ Sophisticated AI Programs “ ? Really ? This is not even a simulator game let alone a true military simulation and you call it Sophisticated ? Its a freaking Arcade is not NASA !

      Sure it can be fun to play with AI rather then human players ( for many reason ) and hell i mostly play single player stuff myself but . . . if you pay for multiplayer you sure as hell must get multiplayer . If you do not , all you get is an “ Always Online “ Single player . We all know how well that goes . . . wink wink Diablo 3 . . . wink wink Sim City !

      Fuck WG !

      Should i pay real money to get killed in one shot by a bot in a tank 2 tiers higher ? No thanks .

      • At the previous post about bots it was established that the most advanced bots can:

        - actually use the minimap ( some players dont know what minimap is)

        - can move around and if they bump you, they back off (unlike a player who will simply stubbornly grind into you, either spinning you out of direction or slowing you down considerably)

        - can shoot, AND aim for weakspots.

        If bots are better than actual humans, then bloody hell i’d prefer to play with bots on my team. If oranges are better than apples, and I pay for apples, which are cheaper, I am actually far better off, since (the joke is on you here) I actually like oranges more than apples.

        “sophisticated AI programs” I call the bots themselves, since they are often better than an actuall human player.

        As to the question should you pay real money to get one shot by a bot in a tank 2 tiers higher? Would you rather it be a goddamn noob who can”t even find his arse with a map and a flashlight? An idiot who cant even spell his own name, even if given three tries? Or a 6 year old child?

        • If someone pays to play with humans and gets AI then that someone is being suckered . It does not matter how well the AI plays . In the context of a simulator , quality AI is highly regarded . WoT is not meant as a sim but arcade .

          The argument you made is that some bots play far better then some Red Barons . Ok sure but if i pay for Red Barons why the hell do i get bots ? Regardless of the quality of the bots it is in the end not what people pay for .

          I too like oranges more then apples . . tee hee :)

          The issue of a bot being better then a human player is not a simple one . As far as reflexes go the machine will always be faster then the human and will have no reticence / fear what so ever . However as was said before by Silent Stalker the machine will not improvise as a human does , sure it might be efficient but it will not be fun . Red Baron players do have some silly charm of their own . And if i pay to play with them why should i not be allowed too ? regardless of how good the machine is .

          True enough it is less embarrassing to be killed by a program then a Red Baron but still it does rob me off wrong .

    • Players that get satisfied by being “top of the team by performance” would like to have bots around, but people who value victories don’t – having 5+ bots on each side (exactly the case on CN server from 1:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.) makes winrate totally a matter of luck.
      Being an effective team leader won’t help you lead the bot army to victory, while average players might be inspired by your ideas.

      Besides, 5+ bots on each side ruins the gameplay of teammate-dependent vehicles – I mean most arty and some light tanks with weak guns. As an arty player, I curse those bots everytime the battle ends in 3 minutes, the situation just makes the already nerfed arty unplayable.

    • plus they support my favorite game. I ain”t even mad.

      what makes you think that theeeeeese money go into the game???
      from what i have seen i didnt see any improvement
      On Rush Hours the lags are terrrrible
      but yeah you will propably reply eee dude check your IP adreess or the toaster you play in….but in the same time In WT i never have problems with lag issues
      these money never go into the game they go into the developing team and propably some peoples from the inside of WG EU cause if they werent people making money out of it they would have been banned from the get go…and no the bot detection system doesnt aquires quantum physics knowlage
      and finally
      whoo tells you that theeeese bots are better then the avg joe???
      what about these kind of players that we think they are actuall players are bots and we rage at them about minimap and stuff have you consider this???
      also if you want bots and go play Singles player it is an arcade MMO game……….

  4. I think using a bot is absolutely pointless. WoT is a game, and people tend to play games because they like to do it, because they find it funny. Why the hell i will need tier X tank, if i dont like the game??? Pointless. When I like the game… why would i use the bot? Yes..there are some very unpleasant vehicles in some trees. But when you hate some vehicle or hate some vehicles stock can still use free Xp gained while playing your liked vehicles… when you are willing to pay WG some golds, you can do it even faster. I think boting is very stupid solution….

      • Yes, but you can make nice money by yourself. I think every player has one or more vehicles which he loves to play. Many people including me makes many this way.. I have some favourite vehicles, i have experienced crews in them and i know how to make them useful in the battle. You know, its just funny and enjoyable trolling around in fully upgraded and equiped PzIV with more than 300% crew….and it is very profitable too… Yes, some can call it sealclubbing, but still better than boting ..i think…

          • Did you ever played stock ARL V39 (with that useless SAu-40 gun) ? I needed to play it….so what i done? I used my free XP and researched new suspension to mount 105mm badass canon…No problem :i think… you just need to gain some free XPs.

    • There’s something a bot can do more efficiently than any other solution – grinding crew skills.

      Just think – those 5-skill Type 59s can rush to enemy base at 50+km/h, spot enemies with **460M** viewrange (with optics+vent+BIA+recon+situational awareness), avoid being killed with their speed, low profile and bouncy armor, fix broken tracks in 6 seconds, kill low tier vehicles and arties ON THE MOVE – and then begin capping the base. If the base defenders are not heavily armored, those bots may deal even more damage.
      If a bot with the 5-skill crew it grinded can do that much, what would it be like to play that vehicle by yourself (assume you’re not total noob)?

      That said, I’ve always wanted 5-skill crew for my Type 59, but it would require 5000+battles. The only thing that stops me from using bot programs is the fact that I hate bots so much when playing that I curse them everytime. I don’t want to be cursed myself.

      • about crew grinding it is just going to be sloooow as fuck to grind the crew with 400-600xp on a win and 100 the most on defeats…..
        and also if he want to play the game with 5 skills why dont he starts with a crew from a tier 6 and up???
        my td crew has 5 skills and it is grinded from tier 5 up to tier 9(i have stop on tier 9 and have many battles)
        also dont forget if he actually gonna play that account when they see him as a pure red noob with 8k-10k battles and dont even bother covering cause people know that these guys are just gonna suck or they bots (xvm after the simplifing in instalation can be used and abused by tones of players even scrubs have it)

  5. There’s another problem with bot users, they have a lack of experience on different tanks and maps.
    There are similar tactics I use, but also I have my places on each map where I only drive to with a certain tank.

    Learning Weakspots is something happening by me also with playing tanks. How have I been killed and how can I avoid the same situation in another game. Sure even a bot user will learn in the matches he drives himself, but how many games does he drive himself?
    I’m pretty sure you can as bot user drive a Tier X tank on many unknown maps….

    My personal thesis for the miserable quality of the games during weekend is: it’s the time the bot users drive their new tanks on unknown maps. It’s the only explanation how a tier X tank can drive on a map to a position where the instant death is a certainty.

    And the day will come when the majority of the players – even the bot users – are annoyed about the overall bad game quality and will stop to bot and stop to play. But when this day comes, the honest players won’t be on the servers already.

  6. That linked forum post is just comedy gold:
    “Without premium you would have a very hard time just paying for ammo and repairs for anything above tier 3. ”

    I can easily pay for all my ammo with tier 8 tanks without premium. For the sake of my sanity I will assume that he meant to say “when using this bot” at the end of the sentence…

  7. WG already publish a list of probable bots. It will be interesting to see how they implement server side replays, would be nice if we could pull down a selection of replays from any random player.

  8. why shoud they ban their BEST CUSTOMER :))

    i spotted this sittuation months ago , if they ban bots they will loose their money , as simple as that
    maybe they will be some bots sacrificed to shut our mouths up after this “big reveal” from an ex :emploee or what is he

    open up your eyes and ears

    I Hope u luck in the Battlefield

  9. Guess what, Occams razor still aplies- its about money, simple as that. Even simpler than incompetence.

  10. I copied a link to this thread into the official german forum, but the link was deleted by a moderator.
    Furthermore i got a 3 days read-only ban.
    WG dont like that information about Bots is distributed.

      • You probably got this
        Discussion on, or linking to unreleased content, illegal activities, drugs, cheats, hacks, Trojan horses, or malicious programs

        SS is a known Drug dealer xD

    • Probably because there are names, descriptions and links that can lead to bot programs in both these posts.

  11. One of the problems is detection as mentioned before. The best bots are really tricky to detect. Blizzard gets around the problem of requiring Warden to run in order to play the game. Warden checks what else is running on the PC and if it detects a bot, your account will be banned without much chance of appeal.
    Manual detection is more difficult. Is it is a bot of just someone too drunk to properly control his tank? It would take a large amount of data and data sorting to filter the bots from the rest of the players, which takes money and time.
    As you mention they are paying users, not players. And the drawback is once you start going down that road, you will end up with an arms race. Bot makers versus detection team. False detections will require unbans and compensations and will result in loss of players.
    So if you take action you will lose player, if you do nothing you will lose players, if you do a little you will lose players. There is no easy solution to the problem, in my personal opinion, I hate them and I loathe the people using them. But I’m willing to live with the relatively small nuisance that they are.
    If you could transfer credits between accounts, then you would have gold farmers and then the problem would be 100 times worse.

    • But this is the sort of logic used if the police was to stop solcing crimes to make crime rates increase, in order to get more funding. In the end it results in extreme dissent.

      If I was wargaming, I would take out X number of bots each week and publicly shame them so the straight-and-narrow players get the impression that WG is actually dealing with the issue.
      This would shut us up, yet at the same time keep the botters paying – although discourageing them from botting but hopefully still willing to pay for playing.

      • That would be a beginning and I would applaud the effort. The main concern are the false positives. The ones picked out that are actually innocent. Even if you reinstate a banned account after a ban and a name and shame… that player will most likely never play again.
        And actually it takes a lot of time to catch a bot user. More then you would expect.

    • My friend used a fishing bot in WoW for year and a half and was never detected. The only thing he had to do was to rename the exe program. Even Blizz did not solve the problem. You are right that the impossibility to trasnsfer credits between accounts is the best way.

      • There are several different types of bot. You can create a bot by yourself using a G510 keyboard. Those will never ever by picked up by Warden, because it is all key presses it won’t pick up those. Then there are several different script programs, like AutoHotKey. Those can work in the same way as the macros on a keyboard, but a lot more options, also very very difficult to pick up.
        And no even Blizzard can’t solve the problem, because of the ongoing arms race and the fact that the goldsellers have an economic interest in the matter.

        • They used a simple Java program which was clicking on the bobber. You just had to put the character by the water, set explicit game resolution and run the bot. The advice with the program was “rename it”. It worked.

          BTW I remember there was also problem with “china farmers” stealing accounts, running bots on them and farming gold this way. People often found their account blocked and had to appeal. If they proven the account was used from different IPs they usually got it back. Another reason not to transfer credits between accounts :)

  12. Well, you can, every 10 battles, disable the “BATTLE” button until an answer is given to a random question, that may be a capcha, a WOT related question, a math question or something similar.

    • So, do you think this is a deliberate move on the warpack creators part (and that of any bot creator) to have WG think twice before tackling this issue?

      • Guess one of the Warpack coders was formerly WG employee. There are too many “Secrets” in Warpack. I dont believe in this kind of coincidences.

  13. You might have covered this already – but why does people bot at all?

    I don’t see that a lot is gained from it, as it’s indirectly a way of saying to yourself that you don’t want to play the game.
    What’s the deal?

    • People want to get to the top tank without putting any effort in. That is all there is to it.
      I personally have a sense of accomplishment when I unlock a tank, but for some only the top counts it seems.

      • So they just want to drive a Tier X tank (without understanding “how” to drive it)? People are really willing to pay for that?

        Couldn’t this be adressed with WG putting up a test-server where people can play the tier X tanks for free, without implementing the whole community-thing, keeping the from polluting the grounds of the sincere players?

    • There are quite some reasons why they do it:

      1. They don’t want to play shitty tanks. The best way for them to skip them, is to let the bot grind them.

      2. They don’t have much time but want to progress in the game. The player hismelf might only be able to play 5 matches a day, but the bot can grind the whole night while he sleeps so he can have a lot of progress without having to invest time.

      3. Players get insta-gibbed in the lower tiers, get fed up and/or upset because they don’t understand the game mechanics and come to the conclusion that being high-tier will allow them to “pwn” everything below them. But how to get the precious Tier 10 without having to die up and get fed up all the time? “I’ll use a bot!” he might think and voilá, we have another botter.

      4. Players bot to get a lot of good tanks so they can sell the account. I met one of the guys from our botlist a few days ago and talked to him. He didn’t even know what a bot is and said he just traded/bought that account and now wants to play with it. I got the covnersation screenshoted. ;-)

      In the end what all of those “players” have in common is a utter lack of understanding game mechanics. Sooner or later they will have reached their goal and will end up in a high-tier battle as a top-tier and will screw your match over, because the 42% Maus suddenly “rushes” the swamp in Lakeville et cetera. While Tomatoe Joe might actually learn a few tricks dieing his way up or at least could theoretically be tought something, the botter will end up in the toptiers without any basic knowledge and will be playing like in Tier 1/2. After several thousand games he might get better, but until then, he was able to screw thousands of his teammates over by playing like a brick.



      • Ah, so it’s for a (slight) profit.

        Not a big gamer myself and I didn’t know about bots until I began WoT. I have a hard time fathoming why people would invest so much time in locating bots and maintaining them in order to play a game at top tier, they don’t know how works or even feel slightly passionate about

      • That selling account point makes sense thanks, I was wondering all through work why someone would bot through the T-54, one of the most fun and rewardng tanks, to get the T-62a. Selling the account or sheer ignorance would be the only excuse for this. Botting for silver I get, botting for shit tanks I get, but if you don’t enjoy the T-54, you wont enjoy the T62, you wont enjoy endgame/CW, and if you don’t play through it you’ll be terrible player by the time you get your tier ten, eliminating your chances at playing CW or enjoying tier 10.

        That said if account trading is a big thing, it is kind of important for WG to crack down on it to save their profits right?

        Nah, money in the hand is worth more than the long term I guess.

  14. Ahoj Silentstalker,

    velmi zaujimavy clanok a prispejem tiez troska do kotla. Mam celkom spolahlive zakulisne informacie z rad supportu, ze dostali zakaz postihovat polskych hracov vratane cheatingu. Vraj presne z dovodu, ako pises tu, su to najviac platiaci zakaznici… Zober si z toho co chces, ale vedz, ze je tomu tak :) Nahlasil som vela hracov s nevhodnymi nickmi, potencionalnych cheaterov a podobne a aj v pripade, ze mi zo supportu odpisali, ze hrac bol potrestany, tak to v skutocnosti tak nebolo… Nicky zostali, cheateri hrali dalej, teamkilleri a podobni maniaci, co len rusili normalnu hru tiez.

    Preto ma napada otazka, ci ide WG po kvalite, alebo len po kvantite…. Skoncia rovnako ako Blizzard s WoWkom, ked zaziju prudky odliv hracov… WoT hrajem cca rok, ale co sa deje na serveroch v public bitkach je proste neznesitelne, no obycajny hrac tuto skutocnost nevie nijako ovplyvnit :)

    Prajem pekny den :)


    • Odliv hráčů z WoW rozhodně není způsobený tím že by Blizz šel po kvantitě. Ve WoW pokud jsi si našel slušnou guildu, tak jsi neměl důvod se stýkat se zbytkem serveru. Ve WoT je samozřejmě problém s tím, že většinu “kontentu” tvoří public hry, ale po zkušenostech z WoW pochybuji, že by jakákoliv akce ze strany WG něco zlepšila. Ten rozdíl mezi hraním lidí, kteří něco uměli a zbytkem populace serveru byl prostě příliš velký.

  15. Well… some thoughts… If WG EU does nothing to fight the bots and even has taken steps against someone who uncovers them – they must have some sort of benefit from it. Yeah, bots require premium account to be profitable, so it’s number 1. But… well, who knows where the direct profit from bot subscription goes? :P

    What can we do to fight? Hmm, there was this mention of XVM clan icons in your yesterday’s bot thread – it might be some way, giving a proper XVM icon or just a symbol, one for SUSPECTED botter, one for REPORTED botter. You get “REPORTED” status if your replay was checked positive for botting, you get “SUSPECTED” status basing on huge number of battles over a short period of time. 150 a day? Possible maybe for one day, maybe two in a row, but highly unlikely for three. Let’s do some approximation: I’m a highly aggressive player (19% survival and proud of it :D), my average battle time is at cca 3,5 minute, plus 30 seconds of countdown, 30 seconds of garage+queue makes it at around 4,5 minute for a battle. 13 an hour. 12 hours x13 battles = 156 battles this day and becoming a fucking mental vegetable. I’m an experienced and compulsive gamer, It was many times when I started some game at 22:00 and played until 8:00 just to take a quick shower and go to school/work, but it is impossible with WoT. It takes CONSTANT action, plans to follow, decisions or discoveries to make – WoT doesn’t have this, and 30 seconds timer at the start of the battle in WoT is the moment when tired brain has the time to realize how fucking tired it is and how fucking late it is and how fucking ridiculous is what you’re doing at the moment. And at some moment you just agree with it and raise your ass and go to sleep. This won’t happen with a bot.

  16. I’m happy you guys are bringing attention to this. I recently started posting vids to youtube after noticing a big increase in bots over the last couple of months. I did report them to WG in the past but on following the players, all the bots I reported are still playing and still botting. I’ve given up on reporting them in-game, or via email where I am told to report in-game, and am just posting them to youtube instead. Two recent ones are …

    Broken586 –
    PandaRE –

  17. Well I play only company battles, team battles and ESL since some time and this is just another reason to keep it that way.

  18. The thing I’m really interested in, why do you need premium to run tankleader/warpack ? Is it an effort on the part of the developers of those program, to make them more “WG friendly”, by ensuring that those cheaters generate revenue for Wg, making them less likely to address the issue. Or premium account has more differences to regular accounts than just higher xp/money gain.

    • Definitely looks to me like a nice little way to stop WG from delving too deep into the issue. In order to detect bots, WG would have to develop some tools and have people dedicated to the problem, costing them money, and then actually stopping these bots would cause them lost revenue. Sounds like somebody grabbed them right where it hurts.

      • According to the developers, when asked the same question on the Tank Leader forum:

        “Actually it isn’t. It’s because the bot doesn’t perform like an actual good player would, it plays to get the maximum amount of XP, which is just rush in, fire a couple of shots, leave battle, queue another tank and do the entire thing again. If you’d do that on anything beyond tier 4-5 on a standard account, TL would burn through your credits like no-ones business and it’d effectively prevent itself from running since it can’t repair and restock tanks when it runs out of credits. That’s why we made the decision to require premium accounts, so that doesn’t happen and you can actually have TL run for a very long time without burning through your credits; the bot is made to make credits and XP after all, not to lose them. Reason why gold is also acceptable is because the game doesn’t differentiate between the two, so neither can we.”

        I don’t suppose it harms in terms of making WG think twice about take serious action against large numbers of botters.

  19. Btw Guys here is a really good example for WGs “Anti-Bot Tools” and the and the competence of WG paris.

    Interval covers 2 days (on average 364.8 battles per day)

    Interval covers 19 days (on average 284.0 battles per day)
    Average WN8: 26 on an avg Tier: 8.24

  20. What if you had to solve a “captcha” before battle starts and every 5 minutes after battle starts? The solving of a “captcha” should be something like “make a mouse movement according to some image displayed on screen” instead of typing the image content…

    • Your idea unfortunately needs some … polishing. Last thing any normal player wants is a “captcha”, “checking sequence” or confirmation window of ANY sort blocking my view or distracting me while the enemy is shooting at me. In the garage, perhaps, but during the battle it’s just like killing the player outright in about 60% of the cases, and their clipping bugs that disconnect me already do that often enough….

    • Ive been to China for the 2012 WCG.

      Wargaming sold their product to a company called kongzhong. We could have fun with some style of press accounts on china’s regular server, and i can tell you that kongzhong setup a captcha system!
      Every 2 battles, you had to enter a captcha in order to continue playing.

      In China, BOTTING and then selling Botted accounts was very popular, now its not that much since they put up this CAPTCHA system.

  21. Hi SilentStalker,

    Regarding your wuestion (what can we do) it is a post burried in the forums regarding a solution:
    and here some examples how he did it:

    Maybe someone knows who is this “unkown object” or understand the statistics for analyzing the player behaviour can update the statistic model and create some kind of on-line engine.
    It will be pretty nice to have some kind of web page where we can check if a user is bot or not (something like noobmeter) based on statistics model.

    Best regards,

  22. You are thinking about the game and think in this way is wrong.

    The company think about his reputation.

    example : only if the players leave the game for this bad reputation, they will take care about the problem of bots.

    How to make the company reach this low reputation, It’s not easy task, first you need public the situation through on-line news media.

    And so so so so on …

    It’s very very difficult task

    Other wise the company only look and take your money and run.

    Because for WG the bots not equal to loss real money, here there isn’t on-line economy.

    If there is problems with the account, the costumer can’t open a ticket because he’s using illegal programs.

    All is right for WG, best ever situation.

  23. Great Job SS

    had a idea: WG can implement a “test if you are a human” before battle starts, basically a user being reported as BoT or just randomly checking.

    it could be like a captcha test (with images) or just a simple task for the “human” user that will be very difficult for bot programs to analysis as it’s related to human perception and semantic that computers can solve (yet).

    if the user fails this, it can flag him for further analysis…

  24. Tank Wars: The Bot Menace: anybody in for a sequel, something like Tank Wars: Attack of the bot-hunters and then Tank Wars: Revenge of the bots? A new hope? (maybe a new anti-bot system, if only…). Then WG strikes back (and save the bots once again). And finally: Return of the bot-hunter. This thing might make up for a good story xD

  25. SS you talk about how a siema monkey can be used positively, but in my vast experience that happens very VERY rarely (i don’t run XVM due to this, i give everyone a chance, and yes i’ve been surprised by “48%”er playing very competently by my side), in fact i rather have a bot that autoaims at weakspots on enemy tanks!.

    you talk about the “lemmingtrain” but i tell you this: the guys who program those advanced bots surely use heatmaps to develop pathfinding, thus programming the most used courses for each tank type -or making the bot actually follow the largest concentration of friendly tanks, like in that t54 video you posted-, hence, a bot will be more time/battle-efficient than a shitty camping noobtard.
    Even if he charges retardedly, he might spot enemies doing that action that will get obliterated.

    you also mention that you can’t use “vs human” tactics and feints against them, well…. dunno… if you base your battles on those tactics you won’t be a superb player, a good player will take out a bot with the same easy as he takes out any other player or with minimal change to tactics(tactics that will also work against a bot).
    For example, so far all bots you mention STOP to fire when spotting enemy, why do you care if you get shot, you can leisurely aim at the weakspots of the bot, and he will also get “distracted” by other targets

  26. The easiest way of fighting bots is to use CAPTCHA just after pressing BATTLE button. Upon a successful answer then the player enters the MM system. After 10 wrong answers the account will be auto-suspended for 1 hour.

    Does not need to be a very hard and distorted symbols version of it…just something that easily filters normal players from bots.

    Bot solution: CAPTCHA

    • Might be good at eliminating bots but, personally I don’t want to write something every time I press battle. And it won’t be implemented. WG might just implement a system to scan and detect illegal bot software. If Warcraft has been doing it for years, they could do. But they don’t want to. And that means they won’t want any CAPTCHA system. It’s plain clear: WG EU does want bots in the game as long as they pay and they don’t want to fight the issue.

      • CAPTCHA is the only way that is not intrusive in the players computers and it is very easy to implement with minimum costs for WG.

        The fact that the players say they don not want to type 4 or 5 letters before each battle is, in my opinion, ridiculous. For, lets say 50 games per day, you will need to type 200 to 250 letters/numbers. Well its less than all the letters we already used on these posts..:)


        • aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa
          aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa
          aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa
          aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa

          Above you can visually assess the amount of work demanded by a CAPTCHA system (5 letters, with 4 letters it is even less) to play 56 games.

        • Captchas would work but they need only be implemented after “bad games”. Do less than 50% of your health pool in damage and a captcha is required for your next game. Minimal effect on real players but a massive effect on botters and afkers.

          The added benefit of a system like this would be to slow down suicide grinders… Another big annoyance.

          • That rule would be very harsh because a lot of people have bad games where they make 0 damage. Also, an absolute beginner can get killed very easily at the start of first his 20 to 30 games so the sysem would be unfair to him.

            I really do not understand why some people people hate CAPTCHA.

            The CAPTCHA system eliminates bots (huge advantage) and introduces a very minor nuisance (typing the code after pressing BATTLE). In my opinion the advantage largely compensates for the nuisance.

          • A captcha system has been suggested many times… WG keeps responding that they don’t want to add any game play barriers. It seems they don’t consider how bots/afk/suicide grinder hurt game play for those of us who actually want to play the game…

            • So you have the system kick in after 200-300 games. Pretty easy to avoid messing with new players. It also prompts them to start improving. An added benefit. For every problem there is a solution when it comes to captchas.

              Zero damage games for “real players” should be rare. So this system isn’t hash by any measure.

              If you are consistently doing less than 50% of your health pool in damage you’re a burden to every team you are on… A system that points this out to you can only be seen as a good thing….

              • The problem is that apparently the best bot programs can easily do damage so you would be kicking real bad players and leaving in-game bots.

                New and bad players have te right to play the game, even more so if they buy premium account. 0 damage can not be a filter.

                It is very easy to drive a slow tank and be on a very good team and deal 0 damage just because your team mates were very fast killing the whole other team.

                • Not kicking anyone… The system would just impose a captcha on you before the next game. They need not ban anyone. Just place barriers in front of people that are basically violating the passive play rule.

                • So the captcha system only gets rid of the bad bots… How terrible. It’s much better than we have now… which is basically nothing. Weeding out the bad ones would still be a vast improvement.

                  No one thing will catch them all. Start with the low hanging fruit. Then move up from there. If they’d just start with the easy ones. We’d see they are doing something….

                • Ah sorry….ok now I understand your idea….imposing a CAPTCHA after you had a battle with damage less than 50% your hit points.

                  I agree.

                  Sorry I was too focused..:)

              • CAPTCHA imho is definitely the best and there are many options for implementing it in an unobtrusive manner.

                1) Basically it could kick in only after so many games played in a short period. Something that would be unusual for a real person.
                2) It could also be implemented so that it only occurs when the battle ends or you leave the battle early. If you don’t enter the CAPTCHA code, then you get 0 XP and credits for the battle.
                3) Basically just set some threshold that is reasonable so that most players would only infrequently have to deal with it, yet would impose significant restrictions on bot progress

    • wilddog83
      vladraq/ vladraqu

      Well, there’s plenty of other nicks. Maybe some of them are real players but I highly doubt…

      I would gladly help to report them.
      Sent tickets to WG EUparishit about BOT users, they told me that there was a teamdamage system already implemented ! I guess they are email BOT users too.

  27. Pingback: [Sammelthread] World of Tanks - Seite 3363

  28. Just my 50 cents:

    1) If you need to have a WOT premium account to run a proper bot and pay subscription fee for that bot, then where is the profit of running such a bot at all?
    I mean – just take all that money, which you would like to pay for bot and premium, invest it into free experience/silver and grind those tanks even faster without spending precious time and don’t getting banned/account wiped.

    2) I don’t think that it’s such a huge profit to WG to support those bots as SS mentioned.
    If, for example, tomorrow WG EU would ban or wipe those 300 000 bot accounts and somehow not allow for botting at all, do you think no one from those bot players would continue to play WOT? I don’t think so. Majority would still play the game as usual players and definitely buy the premium account again just to progress faster like normal nobot-people do :)

    3) Not so long time ago I watched a video in YouTube from one of famous RU players/streamers/youtubers about possibilities to delete or wipe WOT account on RU server. And he mentioned a well proven method of wiping your account – you just have to run a bot program for couple of days, then your account will be banned with high possibility, and then you should have to contact WOT support, who will wipe the account but you will have the ability to play the game further with zero stats.
    The interesting part in this – your account will be banned after botting. So, a question arises – is the attitude to bots on RU server totally different, or is it just a fairy tale, or something more deeper than that?

  29. Maybe they were mulling over that option of hiding stats to cover all those botters who provide them such a nice income…

  30. It is beyond me why WG would only check the battles per day when an account gets numerous reports as a bot. Significantly exceeding a certain amount of battles per day over a sustained period of time is a sure sign of a botter.

    I am also not so that WG RU people are all that smart. At least by far not as smart as they are arrogant (which of course is a *very* high upper limit).

  31. I must say that I was shocked to learn about these bots. Not that there were bots available, but how sophisticated they are. I have encountered several tanks that did not move at all, only to fire at incoming tanks. Now I realize these were bots… These “bots” must be very easy to identify? It made me think….

    Why are there so many bots and bot-users? Why are they causing a huge problem? If word gets out that WoT is full with Bot users, the game will get a huge stain on it, and it will have its reflection on WoW and WoB. I think that incompetence at WG is only a part of the problem; there are more factors, some allready mentioned above:
    - Due to the high (money) income of this bot-playerbase for WG the banning of bots might have gotten a lower priority that it should have.
    - Allocating resources to Bot prevention does not earn money on a short term, investing in new features and improvements do.
    - Bot preventing code does not only require effort to create it, but also requires high maintenance; bots change to avoid detection, detection needs to be altered accordingly etc.
    - WG allows Mods; this means that memory-scan programs will have extra challenges to identify bots only.
    - Ingame Complain feature is lacking competent follow-up; it requires a lot of resources to check it manually, therefore scripts are in place, and scripts are just not good enough.
    - Identifying bots currently does not work at all; Bot users remain unpunished!

    To continue with this last point; what is possible to improve detection and or identifying bots? First, we can think of some easy solutions;
    - Count the amount of battles and amount of time played in a certain time-period; suspicious? Flag one raised.
    - After a certain (random) amount of battles a day; display a simple (capcha like) question during the loading screen. Fail to answer; next battle again, or making it re-appear in the Garage. Too many mistakes? Flag two raised.
    - Gun barrel drop; Identify it ingame; is it standard behaviour? Flag three raised.

    What can WG do with these flags? WG can use them as indicators. There must be more indicators if WG starts to think about it. Especially if they investigate the bot-coding.
    This brings me to the more difficult solutions;
    - Change company policy regarding usage of MODS. Just do not allow them.
    - Investigate the source-code of Bot programs, look for features that can Identify them.
    - Invest in Bot-detection; memory scans, allocate more people to investigate complaints and watch replays
    - Implement detection of certain “standard”behaviour ingame; running in against obstacles etc.  what reaction follows?.
    - Collect data over a longer time period, and BAN thousands of players in ONE step based on this data.
    - WG needs to be more open about BOT users; not only threatening to ban, but also post about banned players.

    In short, Indicators can help identifying Botters, making it more efficient to investigate “Complaints”. It also raises the awareness of the playerbase, giving the feeling that they are being watched. Real investments need to be made in order to really deal with the problem, and Ban Botters. I’m sure a big company like WG can think of much better ways to deal with this problem, if they want to.

    Just some thoughts…

    • Nope, banning mods is not a solution. I would definitely stop playing WoT without mods and they’re easy to differentiate from bots. There are many things that can be done, that’s not the issue. The only problem is that WG doesn’t want to solve the problem because bots generate income for them.

  32. Hello Silentstalker. Yesterday i posted the link of your first post on BOT, in the italian subforum. This morning italian moderator remove my post and give me two warning points and three days of only reading.
    It is clear, that on this issue the WG has a guilty conscience! ;)

  33. So why not bot matchmaking?
    Just flag players who are bots (detected using some system) and group them into the same battles?
    WG can make their money and we don’t have to deal with skynet.

  34. Bots have been around since i started playing some 2 years ago now … they always have been, i could care less if they are i just think its bullshit that WG has to hide it and lie to the community about it. and actively say they are doing something when they obviously aren’t and just don’t give 2 shits.

  35. SS you are completely racist against bots. Bots can be far superior to people. They can learn tactics, teamwork, and social interaction; all it requires is superior programming. I wish WG would put bots in the game to fill up slots on both teams.

    The best part about bots: They will never mention WR/WN7.