Odinn

Hearthstone Bot Bans Expire

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Back in late October, Blizzard announced that they were banning player accounts that had been identified as having utilized one of the various third-party applications being used to automate gameplay. The duration of the ban for botting was three months, and that time period elapsed effective today.

 

Numerous types of botting programs exist, and have continued to be available. The significant ban wave last fall appeared to have decreased the number of accounts being run using bots, which had become an increasingly prevalent frustration for players on the ranked ladder.

 

Shortly after the bans were announced, Kripparian stated in an interview that he felt the existence of bots was interesting, and that their algorithms becoming more refined could actually pose some interesting possibilities for testing new decks or practicing ladder play against a more complex AI.

 

The ban wave was primarily being used to protect Blizzard's game economy, as well as to improve the ladder experience (particularly for players who were logging on to play late at night, where bots would be running and substantially fewer 'real' players would be online).

 

Blizzard's bot detection remains very accurate and quite aggressive, so the likelihood of a mass resurgence of piloted accounts is unlikely. Still, a lot of players whose collections were built using these bots could theoretically be re-entering the game's ecosystem today.

 

Have you seen many (any?) players obviously botting recently? Thoughts on the bans expiring? Let us know.

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I guess I'm one of those who has (had) no idea that Hearthstone was even 'bot-able'.  Maybe I need to get out from under my rock.

How would I know if I was playing against a non-human?

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I guess I'm one of those who has (had) no idea that Hearthstone was even 'bot-able'.  Maybe I need to get out from under my rock.

How would I know if I was playing against a non-human?

 

It can be difficult, but a lot of the bots run very simple decks to program algorithms for (minion-driven, aggressive styles - Hunter, Shaman, and Warlock are the most common), and they'll act in odd ways - turns that last strangely long or short, a lot of obviously unnecessary hand-checking, strange choices of minion attack order, etc.

 

Older bots were much more obvious; a lot of the behaviors that gave them away have since been altered. They're a known quantity that Blizzard's anti-cheating mechanisms are scanning for now, too, though, so you're probably seeing a lot less of them in general.

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Interesting, if you bot in World of Warcraft you get perma-banned on the first offense with little to no hope of an appeal working. but if you get banned for botting in Hearthstone you get all your cards back after 3 months.

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I heard some of them discontinued their project after the ban wave, which is a good thing. Can't believe ppl actually pay for these things, I mean you play to have fun, if you just want to watch a bot play the game for you then why don't you just watch some streams? It's more fun than a brainless bot.

But the sad news is that some of these bot programs have big companies supporting them cause they sell the bot for a fortune. They get smarter and smarter everyday so it's getting really hard to detect them manually by playing against them. I remember at the start it was so obvious, you could detect bots by watching what they hover over, and yeah it was nothing! without even hovering over a card they would play that card. And they never hover over anything in the middle of your turn. But you see none these days, guess they've added some hovering over cards option or something.

And even worse, no matter how Blizzard strengthen their bot protection, the bot guys bypass it. I mean bots release more updates than Hearthstone.

One thing that Blizzard can do to botters is what we see a lot in WoW, bots running into walls or objects for hours and even when you whisper them they don't answer back. In hearthstone blizzard should find some ways to trap botters and make it obvious to a player so the player can report them immediately.

But these things need some kind of culture-building of some sort, like player MUST report bots. Not like WoW where you see 6 players in bg running together and taking the exact same path with the exact same mounts to the exact same base or objective, and then no one even bothers to report them!

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