Bots in Warsong Gulch

WarsongGulch

This weekend was a Warsong Gulch weekend, i.e. Call to Arms: Warsong Gulch. This means a whole lot of XP – indeed, a victory during Call to Arms weekend means almost a whole level worth of XP in 25 minutes or less. As I am levelling a new character, I hit WSG on Friday at level 14 – and the character is now 31 as of Sunday evening. And I did a whole lot of Cataclysm heroics with my bear and RL stuff this weekend as well, so I really didn’t do so many battlegrounds, perhaps around 20 or a bit more. Strangely, it was a very good weekend to be on redside – we won all but two battlegrounds.

However, on the downside there were cheaters and bots.

One match I was carrying the flag, just out of Alliance castle, speed buff on me… when I was suddenly hit by a druid. I thought he must have been waiting by the door, but then I realized there was just one druid on blueside – and he was in the flag room when I left, alive and no Hordies around. There is no way even with Dash that he should have been able to reach me in (he used Ravage, which requires to be behind the target and in stealth).

He more or less two-shotted me, returned the flag and flickered away. Flickered?! That usually means the player is badly lagged – but then the flickers are arythmical, character is standing in one place for a long time and then suddenly moves to another location. But his flickering was rythmical. And his speed… astounding. He went towards Horde keep, covering perhaps third of the way in a second.

Speedhack. It has been a while since I had seen it – indeed, a few years. I thought they were gone for good. It means using tools to dupe the server think that your location is somewhere else than it should be, allowing character to reach incredible speeds or go to a place that players are not supposed to reach. Server does check that the location doesn’t move too suddenly – you cannot use this hack to get from one continent to another, or even one side of an area to the other. But if your client reports just somewhat faster location change, then the server accepts it as valid – the server simply does not have resources to double-check every movement.

As the druid was in 30..34 bracket, it meant he must have been using his main account – usually the speedhack is discovered by Blizzard at some point, so no one with brains uses a main account or an acount that can be tied to your main by credit card or IP, speedhack users were always using trial accounts in 10..19 bracket.

The druid was all over the place, killing players left and right. I think he had something like 40 killing hits at the time the battle ended – shockingly, blueside had managed to capture just one flag, as the druid was more interested in killing than taking the flag and the rest of Alliance was running around headlessly. That was the first our of two battles I lost this weekend.

Second set of cheaters were actual bots – two druids from same server, who set /follow to anyone friendly near them and never cast any spells. If they died and resurrected – and no one was near, they just ran straight forward, down the cliff, until they were killed.

This is a type of bot I had seen a couple of months ago, before Cataclysm. These are “dumb” bots, they don’t even pretend to be players. There used to be another type of battleground bot – one that did /follow as well, but actively cast spells/attacks on any enemy players nearby.

Apparently there are lots of those bots going around these days – someone complained in trade that he was in a battleground where six out of ten characters were bots. Hopefully Blizzard does something about bots at some point soon.

In any case, I reported both bots and the speedhack user. A GM contacted me this morning and said he will look at those characters. I sincerely hope they will get banned for good.

Who uses such bots? Usually goldsellers – they level up a character using scripts, ie. battleground and “run in circle, kill mobs that give XP” bots, then start to use gathering scripts – i.e. bots that collect herbs or ore. Depending on strategy, they may sell the raw materials or make flasks (I believe goldsellers are behind the currently insane flask prices – they both make the flasks from bot-gathered herbs and play the Auction House to keep the prices high).

In any case, when you see a bot, report it. Always.

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