Bot Creator talks about Bots

Hello everyone,

last night, I recieved an interesting e-mail about my older post about bots – from noone else than the CEO of the company, developing the Tankleader bot. The e-mail was signed with a full name, including e-mail and telephone number. No, I haven’t tried calling the gentleman, but it looks pretty legit. Either way, here is an excerpt of the letter, I think you will find it interesting like I did. The name was withheld for obvious reasons. I kept the original typos, the English is a bit flawed, but the man is from Germany. The “bold” marking is made by me.


Greetings Silentstalker,

my name is -redacted- , and I am the CEO of the company behind Tankleader and some other automatization software for mmorpg/a. I did read your blog posts about Tankleader, and thought it would be nice, if I would reply you personally and give you some facts about the real usage of TL.

First of all, the number of 100k sold licences, sounds impressive, and i would be very lucky if i had it, but its completely untrue.

As i write you, right now, there are 133 TL bots online. And we have not sold anything near 6 or 5 digits in licenses as far as i know, and i for sure know. So you might a bit overestimate the role of Tankleader in the WoT battles. However the fact that we try to add a nice AI into our product, is true, that is why we have the most advanced bot, that still is been developed on.

Some say, that while you need Premium or Gold on your WoT, that Wargaming might be behind it, no it is not true. We got contacted by Wargamings lawyers however, back in 2012. We told them that we can discuss that in front of a court if they like. We have not heard since from them.

Might be also the fact that we are in court with Activision Blizzard in Germany, to finally have some laws about online games, EULA, ToS, rights of the users and whatever there are no laws for in the gaming industry. You might also read about european court rulings that happened lately, they do not seem to share the same opinion with the companies trying to form licenses that the users have no rights in. Anyway this would be another story to tell, once we get to the German Supreme Court (BGH) and see what they have to say about the issues that are been discussed.


You wrote: “that running the most popular and probably the best bot (Tankleader) requires a premium account or gold?” Gold and or Premium is a decision we made from day one. We do not want to hurt the Developers.

You wrote: “According to the Tankleader webpage, this bot has about 130k users.” According to the Tankleader page, our community -> thebuddyforum, has 130k registered users, for right now 7 bots that can be discussed about there. And Honorbuddy is the one with probably half of them. And from there on your logic just took the wrong path :/

You wrote: “Why are bots a problem at all, since some seem to play better than your average Joe Tomato?” and then you explained why. However our head developer had over 3k games played, before he started working on Tankleader, and another 2k in process of the development, and i am talking about manual played games. With his expertise the bot has the following target: getting as much XP and Credits as fast as possible. We are not even sure that average Joe will help you in any situation, so there is no difference between him and the bot, except if the bot is in your range, then it will engage to get its kills up, and therefore more XP and Credits.

You wrote: “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.” You might be misinformed on this one, WOW does not scan Memory, they would be stupid to do so and intrude any personal laws in the EU. WOW scans only the Memory it uses itself. But if you do not inject in a game, there is no injection to be found.


SS: There you have it. Now, I don’t mind being wrong or corrected. After all, I am not a programmer. I think it’s actually some pretty interesting stuff. This man confirms the Wargaming version that the “bot plague” might have been a bit overblown, but that does not change the fact that there are currently quite a few bots active – enough to run into one at least two or three times, if you play an entire day (either that, or I was extremely unlucky).

60 thoughts on “Bot Creator talks about Bots

  1. Considering a Bot is at least “on par” with a player, albeit a very poor one, perhaps Tank Leader’s developer and World of Tanks need to have a different discussion. Namely, the prospect of using the bot as the basis of a Player vs. AI environment (for instance, 5 players vs. 15 Tankbots.)

    • Hey, that’s pretty good idea, Tankleader creator could make an AI for PvE in WoT.

      Though as far as bots go… I still kinda feel uncomfortable but I guess that’s his idea for business.

    • I doubt.
      That company earns money on selling or lending bots. What sense would be to give the bot code to WG?

      Interaction between that firm and WG is something between commensalism and parasitism.
      That firm earns money on their own product interacting with WG product. And is at least kind of honest requiring premium WoT account.
      WG doesn’t directly lose money because of bots – from WG point of view it’s still a WoT client connected to WoT server.
      Loses that WG can notice, if any, are pissed off people leaving the game.

      OTOH – there are so much WG-geniune things in WoT that piss off people that bots are only a cherry on the cake.
      Now as a bonus – think what would skill based matchmaker do to bots, and if it would be better or worse to WG in this case?

      • It would make sense to give the “bot code” to WG…..

        ..providing they were offered enough cash… because that’s what both parties are interested in.

        There’s enough rumours, stories and truths about hackers being “bought off” with jobs in IT security or protection… this is hardly any different…

        • Those aren’t rumors at all, but is in fact a very common practice. A lot of hackers do end up working in IT later on in life for the more reliable paycheck, or in fact form such companies themselves.

      • escept it can only move in one path. you only mak eit do rrr then left for X s, nohing for Y, repeat Z times. Making a bot shoot acurately is a different pai of shoes, as is adapting the orute to the tank and map and it’s side. this adds many if clauses and make the program far more comlpicated.

        • But a Tankleader bot? A tankleader bot can search for cover, engage targets, I’ve heard it even aims for weakpoints in the armor.

          • Actually WG already has that AI part sorted out.

            I heard about first hand experiences of 15 experienced WoT players playing against 15 of WG’s own bots in a closed door presentation and actually having a difficult time beating them. ;)

  2. Everything is logic, bots exist because players don’t wanna grind hours and hours, demand created a market, I also am against this grinding thing, make all tanks elite from the start and I wonder if the market even would exist.

    • Then you would probably have no game. I think eliting tanks is one of the bigger part on what gold is spent.

  3. Can you make an interview? Would be interesting to hear how he got into this, how much work he/his coder spends,what his real life job is a.s.o.

    • I refuse to use all mods, but this bothunter mod in particular. It’s part of a witch hunt really, as the players marked as bot are SUSPECTED to be using botting software, but it is very hard to prove and there WILL be false positives.

    • I’ve run into a few since I installed the mod this week, and the one last night at least was a very clear case (I had time to observe the tank after getting killed). Aside from its maneuvering being plain strange rather than just incompetent, I think it telling it kept its gun “dipped” all the time – and returned it to the low position after every potshot it took at enemies approaching the corner bush it was hiding in.
      Kinda sad that it still managed one kill and a few hundred points of damage which was more than several potatoes on the team could claim…

  4. Really interesting. However, his kind of bot is not the true problem, even if I would prefer to have an actual human, however flawed, behind the tank. The bots out there that do nothing but driving in circles, firing at squirrels, are the ones that are really annoying.

  5. Bots are not a problem. Every MMO has serious bot issues but honestly compared to them bots in WoT are a non-issue. Not worth using huge amount of resources by WG.

    I lose how many battles because of bots, 1 in a day?
    And how many battles because enemy has 6 tier10′s while my team has 3?
    And how many battles do I lose because of completely useless players, like the t10 platoon I had just now, which went to the corner of Komarin and together camped with their 45% wr tanks?

  6. He talks only about his Tankleader, it’s not rly so hard to make working bot (harder to make it good one), I’m pretty sure there are tons of “homemade” editions.

    • Seriously a simple botting prgram can be done by some high end gaming mouses and its software…

      Anyway I also think the problem is being overblown. That tankleader bot actually does atleast something even if its just spotting, but it still does more then the average tomato scrub or the blatant afking base leeches. THOSE are the real problem.

  7. Seriously, If the bot requires gold or premium account to be used and thus helps the developer of the game get more money, and the bot is better at the game than your average 48% winrate player, I see no problem with bots at all, and neither should WG.

    Theese people basically pay WG and pay the Tankleader dev to be able to NOT play a game, which, as a game, should be played for fun.

    Ofcourse, they may be bad when they play their bot-aquired tier 10 tanks, but seriously, tier 10 battles are so BOORING and have so shitty campy gameplay, that nobody will notice. Plus that there even if you are bad in your tier 10, you are still better than some of the monkeys playing this game. I say if you have the money and Intelligence to pay from your own funds to WG and the Tankleader dev, you are more smart than at least 60% of the WoT player base, in the very least (that number is pulled out of my ass)

  8. The problem with the bots is that they are worthless in a battle apart from being good at shooting. They are worse than the “noobs” so many of you “unicums” cry about. You cannot rely on them. They will not help where they are needed the most. At best they are only cap defenders which means that it is a camper when you need another tank attacking.

    The TL company is immune from prosecution because they are only offering a product. The guilty parties are the gamers who use their product. So in that respect they are immune from prosecution and thus can confidently say that they are willing to go to court. They are also very shrewd in requesting gold/premium accounts to use their product so the gaming company has to think how to punish the gamer without losing a customer. This is where WG’s account wipe comes.

    I liked the fact that he confirmed what WG said and that the bot problem is not as big as we though it was. But there is a bot problem and I for one do not want them in whatever battle I happens to be with. For me it is starting with one less tank in the battle line where all of them are needed.

    And before any of you bot defenders come and say it: Yes, my stats are average and will remain there for a long time since I do not have time to play WG 24/7 like you do. There is a life outside the computer and it request my presence continuously.

    • “The problem with the bots is that they are worthless in a battle apart from being good at shooting. They are worse than the “noobs” so many of you “unicums” cry about. You cannot rely on them. They will not help where they are needed the most. At best they are only cap defenders which means that it is a camper when you need another tank attacking.”

      Hah, and you think that the average wot player will help you when you need help?
      You must be new here. No, you must have never played this game. At all.

      • OTOH even the worst tomatoes have at least a *theoretical* potential to improve at some point, or have a random bright moment. A pile of code… not so much.

        • Ummm, extacly oposite. Individuals have their limits, and most of WoT players are… very limited. But a pile of code… you can always find someone smarter to develop this pile of code.

          • The last I heard the most sophisticated AI code in existence still had only the most rudimentary learning ability, and it sure wasn’t a bot program.

            Piles of code are very starkly limited by a far greater number of things than human beings, thankyouverymuch. And I somehow doubt the makers’ goal in further improvements of *this* prog is particularly related to a desire to see it achieve Jack Shit in battle as opposed to merely making its behaviour patterns complex enough to not be readily distinguishable.

    • That’s only a District Court though so it’s very much subject to appeal. The CEO guy does make the point that the laws surrounding fair use are hopelessly unclear in the EU and I suspect he is hoping that even if he loses in the BGH (Supreme Court of Germany) it will establish binding precedent and clear up the law on this a little bit. Which is just as well because he probably will lose.

  9. Bots are not the problem in WoT the abundance of Arrogant Douchebags is. If they bothered to learn how to play and listen to advice we wouldn’t have as much abuse in chat.

    • The problem in WoT is that a new player is thrown into battle without even the slightest tactical experience.

      No tutorials at all, the only thing the tutorial teaches you is how to shoot, which, if you have played any kind of shooter before, you allready know.

      It does not teach you how to use your armor, how to encircle a target along with a teammate, how to go hulldown, how to set up an ambush, how to do the circle of death, when to attack, when to defend, and when you need to break off the fucking lemming train and ensure your other flank is covered too.

      It teaches you NOTHING about teamplay, its like this game is “everyone for themselves”, with the accidental twist that players are seperated into 15vs15 teams, where you have to compete with your teammates for the prize of who will hog out more damage and kills than the others. If your teammate dies, thats one less asshat that will steal your kills and damage, or at least thats the logic in the head of most morons.

      • T H I S!!!!

        This is THE only reason this game has such a toxic environment and crappy teamwork. Players who go through hell to gain skill become jaded and hate the fact they cant enjoy the game at the skill level they gained, while the new players just cant acquire the skills in the setup theyre thrown in… The tier 8 premiums are only increasing the issue as the same unskilled players get access to higher level gameplay and ruin the experience for others.

  10. this mail, if true, is just PR .. just like WG does it – “there are no bots in WoT”
    downplay the real number of bots in WoT and elsewhere, while in reality the company has enough $ to battle Blizzard in EU courts

  11. As i write you, right now, there are 133 TL bots online
    Means that when he was writing it, 133 accounts were online in the game and using bots?
    100k people playing at peak times, how many of them are bots?

  12. The insistence on botty boys using premium accounts in to block the legal challenge from WG on the basis of WG making a loss. Lost to income forming the case for damages would be the basis of most business to business legal challenges.

  13. And now, where is that guy who called me idiot when I said EULA is not holy grail and that basic principles of law still applies to games :)

  14. I played WoW from autumn ’05 till summer ’11 and have seen my fare share of bots. Most of them was farming bots flying around and mining mostly. Others were leveling bots. I actually used one briefly around Christmas ’06 when I wanted my first fast mount and the one from Alterac Valley was the cheapest. Back then a single Alterac Valley battle could last over a day and of the 80 players in the battle maybe around 5-10 a side was sitting in the spawn and using a bot that would move you slightly every few minutes to stop you being kicked and allowed you to get Honor points from what your team did.

    Since then I have never considered using any bot software. Mostly because I don’t find games with massive grinds particularly fun.

  15. It’s obviously in this guys interest to downplay the role of his bots in the game… 144 bots online right now… Notice he didn’t say today but at the very moment of his writing. He never said what’s average for a day. Glossed over that there are thousands of his bots 4 figures is 9999 and under. Also consider that his is just one bot. He was saying the user number quoted was for several bots and he didn’t deny that this number could be accurate. Just that the number wasn’t accurate for just his bot. It was carefully worded spin. Designed to make people “feel better” and stop complaining. Sadly it seems you bought into it.

    Whenever i try level up on the EU server I end up giving up. You have so many bots in the low tiers that the game is unplayable for me. So believe the spin all you want but under T7 you have a massive infestation!

    • Bat21zing,

      the man is not interested to downplay his role at all.

      At this very moment there are 112 Tankleader Bots online. The average of a day should be something in between 100 – 150.

      I do not have any information about usage of other bots, and how should i? My email cleared some facts, that where wrong by their numbers. I do not get the point of acting like automatization is something bad and should be forbidden by law. There are no laws that forbid it.

      There is a big difference between automatization and cheats, but that difference clearly is not been made by many.

      Imagine, next year Google releases his self driving car, and someone writes an AI that can handle the automatization even better, and it is been tested and approved for market. And Google sues them, because its their car with their software.

      Anyway, that is the main reason, why we will go legally to the BGH or even higher, to the European Court.