Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Inferno (Botting) Launch Day Blues

5/22/2012 7:56:17 AM - Tiny Miner started the mining session!
5/22/2012 7:56:17 AM - Commencing a new Run. Auto-Placing the EVE window in the top left corner of the screen.
5/22/2012 7:56:43 AM - Checking for items in the ship's cargo window. Found some!
5/22/2012 7:56:43 AM - Checking for the Undock button (to see if the ship is inside the station). Found it!
5/22/2012 7:56:43 AM - The ship is undocking now. Waiting...
5/22/2012 7:56:54 AM - Undock successful. The ship is in space.
5/22/2012 7:56:56 AM - Checking to see if an asteroid is already locked. Not found!
5/22/2012 7:56:57 AM - The ship's cargo window appears to be closed. The program cannot continue until you open the cargo window again. If the cargo window is open then make sure it is UNPINNED so that it has an opaque background and the drones window is not overlapping it in any way as shown in the screenshots from the tutorial page.
5/22/2012 7:56:57 AM - Taking the closing screenshot and saving it in the Tiny Miner settings folder under "My Documents".
5/22/2012 7:56:58 AM - Closing the EVE client immediately!
Asimov, TinyMiner forums

Some people think that botters live a carefree life, drinking Bulgarian white wine, driving Yugo convertibles while blasting Def Leppard and overall just chillin' out in one-bedroom condos in Mogadishu.  But no matter what they tell you, the life of botters isn't all rainbows and unicorns, even before CCP Sreegs comes in and snatches everything away.  No, think of the poor botter whenever a major expansion comes out.  Not only does the botter have to wait for CCP to finish up, but then has to wait on their talented (or not) bot coders to fix their bots in order to start rolling in the isk again.  I waited a couple of days because I wanted to demonstrate just some of what the poor botters go through on patch day and, if CCP manages to change a lot, the days after.

First, botters have to tell the botting devs the bot is broken.  Like every bot isn't broken after every patch and expansion.

Tinker (TinyMiner):
"After the Inferno patch and the new "Unified Inventory" system, TinyMiner doesn't work anymore. All the inventory UI and functionality is different now (for example if I open 2 different windows for cargo and hangar, after I reenter the station I only have the cargo window open)"
Spod (Eve Pilot):
"Looks like the 'inventory' window will be the most difficult to deal with since it replaces the items window that stuff can be dragged to.  The new inventory system sucks completely. There's so many complaints about it on the forums.

"Unsuprisingly, first run does not work and neither does trying to continue as normal. Trying to open the 'cargo window' takes up the whole screen.  If you enable the option to 'Merge Items and Ships into Station Panel' then at least you get an 'Items' panel you can drag stuff too. For now though, it's killed EVE Pilot. I hope Slav can look into this.
"CCP may even revert to the old system or make the new one optional if everyone is unhappy.

Of course the botters have to report everything into their bot developer.  Apparently the unified inventory system really hurt the OCR botters.

Sid-T (TinyMiner):
"With the consolidated hangar/inventory they have also made 1 other change which is that your "active ship" no longer appears in the "ship hangar" (even if you open it in a separate window) so the way "repair in station" works will have to change also."
Spod (Eve Pilot):  
"Trying this and EVE is much improved but still not ready to work well with EP. You can set the windows in the correct places (Cargo and Items) as before, and the bot will undock okay. If you then pause bot, dock, save the settings and re-start EP then the windows are gone again, so it's not saving the settings between restarts - makes it impossible to use still :/"
willy (H-Bot):
"I have a problem with ammo refill. He does everything right, except he cant recognize the select quantity window to set the ammo amount and he doesnt close that window. This will get him stuck, since you cant do anything else until that window is closed. The bot itself runs in a cycle to refill ammo, in reality he doesnt do anything since there is no right click menu unless you close the set quantity ammo window, which he cant detect." 
 HalfBaked (H-Bot):
"I use a corp hangar to re-fill my ammo, and with the new 'Gay' Inventory i have really struggled to make this work, i am reluctant to use a GSC to re-fill."
Gray (Questor):
"Did some tests, because of having nothing to do, just "for fucks and laughs". And discovered a more serious problem... Even if you find a way to open new inventory (say, just open it manually), you still have to make Questor open wrecks and containers. This can be done with an old method, thankfully. But still, even if you make an attempt to open smth, it doesn't mean that it's going to be successful! For example, last pocket of WC: you can camp Damaged Heron and try to open it every 10 secs - but you won't be able to actually access it because it's "guarded", until you kill the trigger group. Another example: you've opened a container, but your ship has moved too far away due to inertia before you managed to loot it.

"In both cases a container is going to be added to your inventory, it will be marked grey in overview - but it doesn't mean that it's successfully looted :( Before patch there was a 100% reliable way to check: if there is an open window, then we can initiate loot sequence. Now... I'm out of ideas. There should be some kind of a new container flag, like "accessible".
TinyMiner is pretty strictly moderated, so I don't have too many tears.  But over on the Eve Pilot forums people were starting to question whether they would get to use their bots anytime soon.

Sabrael71 (Eve Pilot):
"Is there any known timescale to when the eve miner fixes will be implemented guys,will it be days or weeks?,the new inventory system really sucks"
Deviant (Eve Pilot):
"For any info when we can start use eve-pilot i will be very grateful, I've just buy it and i cant use it ... i'm start thinking is that was a good investition. Please share some information"
Shiplash (Eve Pilot):
"do you know a time frame as to when it will be compatiable and since im on month subscription can i get a some day credited to pilot"

Of course hoping that changes in the game kill all the bots is just wishful thinking.  Eventually the bot developers either fix the problem or at least see a way to fix things.  But these changes are bigger than usual, even for an expansion.

VanGogh (TinyMiner bot developer):
"Well the small patch from today seems to have fixed the ship's cargo window stability issue. Now it will stay open after docking/undocking so that's one problem taken care of right there. I should be able to release the new version in the next couple of days as there are still a couple of things that need fixing and testing beside the ore unloading in station. These include the "ship repair feature" and the "unload at a POS corporate hangar" option."
Of course, sometimes a developer will tell different communities different answer.  Here are two answers that Slav2 gave to when Eve Pilot would be back up.  First, to his English-speaking customers:

22 May 12 Support:
"It will take couple of days to implement new function to use new inventory"
The next day he told the folks on the Russian forums the problems were a bit more serious.

23 May 12, Russian Forums:

Slav, and how it is a serious problem, and when at least some can wait for the patch?
Slav2 (Eve Pilot bot developer):
"Даже ССП требуется несколько дней чтобы устаканить все изменения в клиенте. Мне также требуется еще день на обработку нового окна + время на исправление всего кода, где использовалась старая версия каргохолдов (корабль, ангар на станции, джетконты и вреки, струкруры на посе). В течении недели бот будет работать, конкретнее сказать не могу, будет видно по мере продвижения."
Google Translation:
"Even CCP takes several days to fix all of the changes in the client. I also need one more day to process new window + time to correct all code that used an older version of the cargohold (ship hangar at the station, and dzhetkonty wrecks, strukrury to POS). Within weeks the bot will work, I can not say specifically, we will see as you go."
And Questor is alive and, if not well, then still breathing.  Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.

Da_Teach (Questor bot developer):
"Ganondorf is working on getting DE working again (Glider/Edgar might be helping, not sure). At the same time I'm putting the finishing touches on the support system (I had hoped to finish it last night but paypal was being a bitch).

"Due to the major changes in the inventory system it will take longer than usual to get everything working again. But I suspect everything will be working again in the near future."
The near future may be today or tomorrow.

I've had fun watching the activity on the botting forums.  Unlike bans, botting developers can't censor (very much) posts about bugs because they need the feedback to fix things.  The funny thing I noticed while reading through all of the forums is that the developers are depending on CCP to fix bugs or make suggested or promised changes in order for their bots to work properly.  So while regular players are having fun in game, or perhaps cursing CCP for making changes, many bot users are on the sidelines for days because their developers still need to fix their bots.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again.  I'll never use a bot.  I wouldn't want to go through all the aggravation bot users go through.  And that is before CCP Sreegs and Team Security catches them and takes all their stuff.


  1. Programs like "easy macro recorder" or "work space macro" are a decent relief in the meantime.

    Zero intelligence , simple point click macros, but will keep your tendinitis from flaring up and turning your hand into a mouse shaped claw.

  2. Oh, that's such a heart-warming read.

    So that means CCP could correlate EVE activity and expansion/bot release dates to flag botters pretty easily.

    1. No, as there'd be false positives from people who had enough trouble with the patch to be unable to log in for a couple of days. Not logging in after a patch is nowhere near enough to be sure about a bot.

      If only it were that easy... :)

    2. Ah, but there you may be wrong Mr. Anonymous. People who cannot log in because their client is broken will file a petition. Botters will not. Plus, it will not be too difficult to sift through the login data (or lack thereof) data and determine who bots and who doesn't. It gives CCP Sreegs and Team Security a VERY good place to start a focused evaluation.

    3. It's never been difficult to get a check list of suspect botters, just by looking at simple data you'd be able to get a list of suspects to look at more closely.

      Is the account on line 23/7 (Yes/no)
      Does the characters on the account spend the majority of its time in one/two systems (yes/no)
      Does the client mine/rat/mission/place market trades for more than 10 hours a day (Yes/no)

      If you answer yes to the all of the above then your probably worth investigating as a bot. That data is available to CCP if they looked for it...
      A list of possible bots to investigate.