Tuesday, April 26, 2011

War On Bots - A In-Depth Look

I decided to take a in depth look on ccp's war on bots, and to see if they are actually having an effect.  The problem is how to approach this, and to see what effect it is having on the game.  There are a lot of criteria to look at, but at first lets look at the source.  Actual botting websites, and for obvious reasons I will not be listing their actual names. I also highly recommend reading Reporting from the front line of the Bot-war on the eve-online forums. 

Website 1 - Status: Appears Dead
This is the first website that popped up on my Google search., and the site appears to be pretty professional looking.  It has some pretty nice php effects, but the forums are pretty much dead.  The last post was in march.  The forums appear to be censored, and the admins might be removing all negative posts.  I find it weird that their is no discussion about ccp's announcement to fight bots, and not one complaint.

Website 2 - Status: Working
 This site is more of a discussion site, but it is well alive and functioning.  There appears to have been a few people banned for about 2 weeks.  The complaining seemed to have died down, and it is unknown if they are now just censoring the forum.  There is a new bot out that claims to be undetectable as of 3 days ago.  People are complaining it is hard to use, but no one reported being banned.

Website 3 - Status: Working
This bot seems to be a popular ratting bot, and appears to be favored by the Russians.  The site does not have very many posts in the English section, but the Russian section is very active.  There are no complaints about being banned on the forum.  There is a lot of discussion about bugs the bot has, and this makes me believe that people are in fact using this bot.

Website 4 - Status: Unknown/Working
This is another ratting bot, but it is a lot less popular then website 3 based on the amount of forum posts.  There are no posts or discussion about CCP war on bots, and no one complaining to be banned.  There is discussion about the bot bugging out occasionally, and optimizing its usage.

Website 5 - Status: Shutdown/In development
I guess this is a touch out of order, but this appears to be the most popular mining bot.  The forums have been completely taken down except for a few announcements.  The developer says that he does have a stable version that will not be detected, but it has not been released to the public.

Those appear to be the major bots out in the game. It appears that ccp is doing something, but is it really that much?  Eve-online anti-botting has been a JOKE for years, and now they are doing small things that should have been done long ago.  So far they have only gone after the mining bots, and seemed to have left the ratting bots alone.  I guess it is possible that bot sellers are doing an amazing job covering up that their product does not work anymore.  I guess it is time to look at the market.

The first thing to look at would be the more popular LP shop items. I don't want to go into a great detail listing every item I looked at, but for the past 2-3 weeks there has be a small increase in the amount of sales.  This could mean that bot users are a bit worried and have been liquidating their accumulated LP, but the increase in trades isn't really that substantial.

The other thing that needs to be looked at would be the mineral market, but that appears to have no real change.  I guess I could see a small decrease in the amount of Trit traded in Jita lately, but that could be any number of things.  Again this is not really substantial, but the price of Trit is already high, and seems to have stabilized in the 3.20 range.

I guess time will tell if CCP is going to actually win the war against bots.  I believe that they did NOT come out swinging, but just made it a bit more complicated to write a bot.  I understand that botting is a widespread problem, and they could not ban everyone permanently.  It would have drastically punished players for a behavior that sort of became acceptable.  They released the bare minimum of anti-botting technology, and it seems to only be able to detect certain things.  This could be a new approach, though, make it more and more complicated to write a undetectable bot.  I guess time will tell.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anom Change - Time to Mine?

I've been messing around in null to see what the anomaly change will have for those of us unlucky enough to live in a system that will no longer have havens or sanctums.  I ran around and used a ishtar fitted for max dps and I was getting a steady income of about 10-11 mil isk a tick (20 minutes) in bounties in havens.  It comes out to about 30-33 mil a hour.  I then started to run hubs and I was getting between 3-5m a tick.  It comes out to about 9-15 mil a hour.

This means that those who rely on anomalies for income will see a 50% drop in their livelihood. Now I realize people are able to clear havens and sanctums much faster then I was.  They can probably get much higher ticks then me, but this should still give you an idea of what you will be making after the patch.  Those that run anomalies in carriers will suffer even more, due to the high number of frigate spawns in hubs. 

Those mining in null at current mineral prices could in theory make around 50 mil a hour.  It's not going to happen for the average pilot.  It would take a hulk pilot with max skills, tech 2 drones, tech 2 crystals, mining implants, getting a perfect rorqual boost, mining Arkanor, and having someone hauling the ore for him.  Realistically, you can probably pull in 30-40 mil, but that is even after IDEAL circumstances.  It does not include any refining fees, hauling fees, etc.  It is also based on current Jita prices.

This is where things get complicated, because it all depends on your alliance and corp.  What are you really going to get for the ore?  What percent is the outpost owner going to take for a refine tax? Are you going to haul the stuff to Jita yourself?  What do you pay the booster? What do you pay your haulers? What do you pay the pilot that kills rats for you? More importantly are you going to be able to mine Arkanor the whole time? Realistically you are going to make maybe 15-20+/- mil a hour mining at pretty high skills, but it all depends.

Now the pilot running hubs will be making 9-15+/- mil a hour, and they also get loot and salvage on-top of the bounties.  This is where calculating gets hard, because the average null sec pilot will not have the salvage as you go capabilities of say a Marauder.  The easiest and possibly the best thing to do would be to find a low skill point corp mate to come salvage and loot for you, and just split the profit.  Your profit will vary based on the faction of the local rats, but it should still put you way ahead of the miner.

The hub pilot will also have the advantage of faction spawns and escalations.  Hubs can escalate to 8/10 DED complexes, and the occasional faction spawn.  I personally never seen either, but I hear they exist!