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Reader Comments (29)

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:05PM J45neoboy said

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Shocking. 10% of their paying members are now gone.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:56PM Brendan Drain said

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@J45neoboy The figures in the video don't give us enough information to conclude that 10% of subscribers are gone. Activity dropped by 60% overall, of which 90% were free and 10% were members. That means a 6% activity drop on member realms. That means an absolute maximum of 6% of subs were lost due to bot banning.

The actual figure is likely a LOT lower than 6%, though, because you have to account for the fact that bots have a higher activity-per-person than a real player as they tend to run for long periods of time every day. A 6% decrease in activity by getting rid of highly active bots could be as little as a fraction of a percent of paid subscriptions.
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Posted: Oct 31st 2011 1:18AM DataShade said

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@Brendan Drain
Why quibble over percentage? If they banned 7.7 million, 10% of which were paid, they banned over three-quarter million paid accounts in a week. I don't care how many paid subs you have, pitching ~770,000 paying members to the kerb is not something to brag about.
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Posted: Oct 31st 2011 5:02AM pcgneurotic said

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@DataShade

It is if they were cheating.
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Posted: Oct 31st 2011 7:42AM Gaugamela said

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@DataShade

Sounds like a certain gold-farmer/botter got his account banned.
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Posted: Oct 31st 2011 7:45AM Brendan Drain said

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@DataShade From what I gathered, 7.7 million was including the thousands of bot accounts created per minute since Tuesday, and the initial wave of bans was 1.5 million. So they banned about 150,000 members. This is definitely something to brag about, because that cost them about $750,000 per month in revenue. The fact that they were willing to take such a big hit to get rid of botters is a big deal, and it silences claims that Jagex doesn't care about bots because more bots means more subs.

Interestingly, if 150,000 sub losses caused a 6% drop in activity, and assuming that a bot is as active as a normal player (plays the same number of hours per day on average) or more active, that sets a lower bound on the number of subscriptions RuneScape has total of about 2.5 million. They're rough numbers, but I'd guess it's actually much higher than this as they hit 1 million paid subs in 2007. I wouldn't speculate as to how much higher, but if you account for the fact the average bot will play longer hours than the average legitimate player... that's a LOT of total subs.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:12PM WriterGuy said

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WoW's announced plan to combat goldsellers? Deter goldsellers in our game - by selling items ourselves (the Real Money Transfer item of the new pet).

RunsScape's plan to combat goldsellers? Combat goldsellers.

One of those plans actually makes sense. The other one makes a smokescreen.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:34PM J45neoboy said

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@WriterGuy

One costs the company money and is responsible and shows they care about their game. The other makes the company money.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:51PM Pingles said

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@WriterGuy

Remove bots by calculating who is a bot will only work temporarily. There are likely dozens of bot programmers working that out right now.

Remove bots by making them economically unfeasible will remove them permanently. Nobody is going to bother if they can't make money.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2011 6:33PM smartstep said

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@Pingles

Thing is there is no way to make them financially unfeasible. There are games that practically sell gold to players like EVE Online (through PLEX) - did that remove gold farmers & botting?

Lol no it did not. Botting & ISK selling is still very strong in EVE.

There is no other way that to constant fight. Propably have to have some person or even small team of programmers (esp in bigger games) employed to constantly update bot detecting & banning mechanism.


Only way to make botting & gold farming economically unfeasible is to make any kind of trading between players not-possible.

That would still not rid of botting for xp and such though. Not to mention of botting in order to get character to max level and then sell whole account, etc

Besides who would want to play game where you cannot trade anything between players (not though AH, not though mail, not directly,etc)
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Posted: Oct 31st 2011 6:24AM pcgneurotic said

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@WriterGuy

Your knee-jerk cynicism outweighs your smarts here. It's not a smokescreen. Smokescreens literally and figuratively hide other activities from view. The word you are in fact looking for is 'profit', and Blizz have never been shy about showing how and where they're making profit. :p
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Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:20PM Lenn said

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That is impressive.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 4:40PM Seffrid said

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Very impressive, and it shows what can be done when the will is there. Or indeed the desperation if botting is ruining a game.

Will the success last long-term? I guess that's the real question. I wish them well.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 5:30PM Beau Hindman said

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I love it, and am glued to the set (as it were) to see what happens.

The difference in game is shocking and, admittedly, it feels a bit emptier in certain areas. Then you realize how much of those "players" were scum. lol

beau

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 5:56PM (Unverified) said

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*Slowly building applause and expression of bewilderment.*

I've never played runescape, and in all likelihood never will, But if anything ever could make me interested in it, this would be that thing. All developers should be this dedicated to removing bots. I hope they take it one step further and actually go after the person behind the bot, guess we'll find out soon enough.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 6:26PM smartstep said

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Well to be honest I AM impressed. Way to go Jagex ! :)

You're really do good name to your company.

Don't be disencouraged though if some people will get around your defenses, but if Jagex managed to ban 98% of bots, or anything close to that number then just keep on your toes - update your bot-detecting&banning mechanism regullarly and I am sure that consumers will appreciate that.

Really I am glad. I hate botting & gold farming / selling.

Really some companies should take Jagex as example in bots handling.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 6:37PM Graill440 said

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Wow would lose 3/4 of its playerbase if they did the same thing this company did.

This is the result of allowing scripts and macros in a game. The easy fix is to mod the servers daily and not allow macros of any type. The constant change will prevent third party updates as the obvious result. Small changes will take time to search out by these third parties and having them change daily will make it impossible.

Continuing to allow macroing/scripting with no updates will eventually lead to more botting.

Macros/scripts are for the lazy portion of the gaming community that wants to do something other than play the game while playing the game. Games should be entertainment, not a lifestyle.

Posted: Oct 30th 2011 6:47PM Graill440 said

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@Graill440

Guildwars 2 and TOR needs to hire these folks, balls and common sense, a rare combination in devs these days. To bad i do not care for this title, this dev made my new favorites list.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2011 9:30PM Azaetos said

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Amazing, a company that actually appears to care about their game and players. Good work Jagax, unlike Blizzard and Co where the only thing they are interested in is the almighty dollar.

Blizzards idea of a solution to botting is to line their own pockets faster than the gold farmers whilst continuing to destroy the integrity of the game.

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