ArenaNet reports that it has decimated 34,000 bot accounts last November alone as part of its continuing war against bots. This has led to a “serious decrease” in the bot population, claims the developer, with bot reports dropping to a fantastic 20 per hour from 2,000 in October.
How did ArenaNet manage to drastically root out the population? Players who painstakingly submit bot reports played a key role to the purge, says security coordinator Mike Lewis. He went on to describe the three general countermeasures that has made bot removal much more effective and efficient.
“We’ve gathered massive amounts of information about the habits of both normal players and automated bot players. We contracted a team of data specialists to help us build comprehensive tools that comb through this data and find effective ways to single out and terminate bot accounts. Automating this process has been a major focus of the ArenaNet security team, and we’re now seeing the considerable fruits of this labor,” Lewis said, referring to their previously described plans back in September.
Another way we identify and combat bots is through manual observation. Our GM staff is equipped to monitor the game around the clock and detect bots from within the game itself. We have a considerable task force assigned to patrolling the world and eliminating bots, as well as helping us continue to improve and refine our automatic detection tools.”
Last but not least, we’re in a good position to monitor and investigate bot reports as they arrive from players. Aided by our analysis tools and strengthened by manual investigation as necessary, GMs are able to react quickly and efficiently to bot reports and terminate offending accounts in short order,” Lewis ended.
A big salute to ArenaNet for not giving up on the bot menace. While these bot purges realistically do not lead to a complete wipeout considering bot users multiply faster than fungi, the effort gives us players a few months of relatively uninterrupted gaming.