Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Chacal

"Unfair Benefit or Advantage"

6 posts in this topic

Discussion of bots in the Secret Pally thread got me thinking about the legality of software aids.

Blizzard have said that they have no problem with Trackers since a player could essentially do what a tracker does with a pencil and paper. All a Tracker does is automate that task, right?

 

What does a bot do? The back end must do what a Tracker does i.e. it reads the log to determine the state of the game. Whereas a Tracker would take some of this information, format it and present it in a UI a bot is going to process it algorithmically. It's going to output a set of actions to take place on the players turn and then it's going to automate those actions without any player intervention.

 

The exploitation policy effectively bans programs that can give an unfair benefit or advantage by automating various aspects of the game. Since they have already said that Trackers are in the clear then you can reasonably assume that automating the monitoring of the game state doesn't fall foul of this so it's only the 'driving' the UI automatically aspect of a bot that is a problem. In theory then, a user could run a bot which told him what plays to make and this would be acceptable, in exactly the same way you can have a Legendary player coaching you. You couldn't leave it running to farm gold for you, but that's not the point. You can very legally (not to mention undetectably) use a program to cheat the game (if we're assuming that the explicit intention of the game is to pit human beings against one another), if not the terms of service.

 

Bots are irrelevant. Complaining about them is futile. It's screaming into a pillow and banging your head against a brick wall all while feeling the sensation of your own warm pee being blown back against your legs. Forget about who or what might be calling the shots on the opposing client. Do you enjoy the game? The process of trying to win this match? The challenge of trying to make the best plays possible against an opponent who has to build their deck from the same set of cards as you do and has to play to the same rules? Remember this: a lot of people get a lot of enjoyment playing chess against an AI. The only people who get genuinely hurt by bots is Blizzard since they can farm gold to buy decks that would otherwise have to be paid for by real money.

 

Disclaimer: I'm making assumptions about how bots work. I've never used one and never will. I just want to enjoy playing the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, there are companies that were able to deal with bots somewhat successfully. One of the biggest successes was Jagex's "Bot Nuke" (which is said to have eliminated 98% of bots, but caused minor FPS problems) and "Bot Nuke 2" (basically a fix of the FPS problems). As a player of RuneScape, I can say that it worked pretty well and that bots can be a rare sight. 

 

The thing with chess AI is that it makes moves (almost) instantly. The bots just wait for a few second before making a play and that's the most irritating part (at least for me). 

 

Also, reducing the bot amount would mean they would have to put time into it and, let's be honest, if extra deck slots take years, massive bot reducing will probably never be real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the bots vs addons point is not really relevant here. Bots are not doing what a pen paper and calculator can do. The issue with bots isn't reading the log and keeping track of the moves, its what happens past that point.

 

Bots, 1. calculate the best move to make given the parameters and 2. automatically makes the move, essentially playing the game without you being present. The community may hate bots for various reasons, just as Sottle's reason is unique to mine.

 

Automated actions that require no input from a user (point 1+2) are obviously a concern since a user can farm gold/wins without playing. This is unfair not only to blizzard and its employees who has invested time, money and effort in the game but also to a player who spends time, effort or money for that matter, to earn their cards, wins and ranks, and is pitted against someone who doesn't.

 

Now the core of your argument is, if we only allow a program to do point 1 and let the user make the move themselves, Is it still cheating since the "player" is spending time and effort to actually make the move? It is no longer automated farming. It is more along the lines of letting someone else tell you what plays to make for your game every single time. Many players use online tools to tell them which cards to pick in arena and that is not considered cheating. However if someone is in a tournament playing chess, or a physical card game, and has a grand master secretly tell them what moves to make via a hidden ear piece, it would be considered cheating. The behavior would be deemed fraudulent and the the player disqualified since it is not really him making the moves. Does the online, digital format exclude us from this standard? One can consider the ladder to be a digital mini-tournament of sorts. 

 

The other problem community has with bots is that they cause one archetype/class to become more prevalent in the multiplayer environment reducing variety of play. I don't know if any and all classes/archetypes are bottable. As Sottle mentioned oil rogue created bots as well and not just the allegedly mindless play of secret pally. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say it's unfair to the player who isn't using a bot. Can you put into words though exactly how it's unfair and how it alters the human player's experience?

 

Yes, having a chess grandmaster whispering in your ear at a tournament would be cheating and you would be disqualified. In the same way as being coached a Hearthstone tournament would get you disqualified. If it's just some matchup happening over the internet a) why does it matter?, and cool.png how would you propose to police it? Because it happens now. If people should be banned then we could use the YouTube streams as evidence until people stop posting them. Then the ban becomes unenforceable.

 

To an extent I'm playing Devil's Advocate. I instinctively don't like the idea of bots. The truth though is that the fact people are running them does not deprive me of anything and if someone wants to make plays suggested by an AI then they can and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. A rule that you can't enforce is nonsense, so what's the point in getting exercised about it?

 

I say it can't be enforced, but.....it occurs to me that if Blizzard really wanted to (and if they're going to be consistent then they really should) they would encrypt the log stream so that it could only be read by the game client. No trackers, no practical way to use a bot. You can still get coached though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically because as a f2p player I don't like the fact that I spent over a year and a half building my collection slowly and towards becoming better at the game, and it doesn't feel fair that some guy can simply AFK 24/7 and get upwards of 100 gold a day, as well as legend ranking without any sort of effort. I imagine people who payed for their cards aren't exactly crazy about the idea either.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly what batanete says about why its unfair. Remember it is not just about playing against bots, it is also about playing against the person who uses bots to make gold.

 

Even If I was a paying player, I'm spending real money to get cards that would help make the game more fun for me or give me an edge to win. Vs a person who is afk and making gold and wins.

Why does it matter if its a game over the internet. Because you are cheating against another person. Keep in mind 80% of hearthstone you are playing against others (as opposed to blizzard's AI) and if those others are just using bots to make their collection, you are not in a fair matchup. Its kinda like an athelete using performance enhancing drugs, going against someone who has been training hard every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.