Thursday, July 5, 2012

CCP's War On Bots: Eve Pilot's Bad June

The trolls posting about botting on the Eve Online forums are beginning to irritate me.  I really hate the ones that claim that bans only occur once a year because I think people will begin to believe them.  Since CCP Sreegs or CCP Stillman haven't written a new security blog (for understandable reasons) and the CSM hasn't really shared the details of the Security briefing at the Spring Summit (checking to make sure the NDA is not violated), I guess I'll post some more botter tears, this time from the Eve Pilot/Eve Miner forums.

I can hear the groans now.  More botter tears?  Sorry, but this batch of tears may be interesting, or at least tasty.  At least I think I saw the complaints that CCP Stillman hinted at on Twitter a few weeks ago.  Also, patch 1.1 came out so I included some of the posts about that to describe some of the frustration of the bot users and to also point out places that CCP is messing with the bot developers.

I should add one additional note.  Most of the technical details described in the below forum excerpts have been floating amongst most of the botting forums I visit.  One piece of news I have not written about until today is that with CCP's increasingly successful detection of botters using virtual machines, users have been asking bot developers to look into a software called Redguard.  I don't know too many details about the software except that most of the developers didn't think too much of the software when first introduced to it.  Now?  Something for me to research and watch.


June 14:

baldur:  "My bot got banned today and also one of my main chars wich has had no interaction with the bot what so ever my other alt did not get banned tho dont know why?  What should i do what should i change.  I admit my bot had been running for 2 days mining maby i should tone it down a bit?  How did they figure it out?  and what can i do to fix it ?  and how did they ban my other account wich is not a bot and never has been ?"

June 15:

Famine:  "Yup got banned also, right after DT. So far my main is not banned though. Guess ill check back soon.  Only been using the bot again for about 4 days, before that i had not used it in over a month.  used a VM, transfered isk directly to main, contract trades also, and in game trades to main.  He only has 2 days in his skill queue thats what im annoyed about lol. If it was a 14 day ban and i had a long skill in there i wudnt really mind, have no plans to ever sell that character anyways.  Id be surprised if my main doesnt get the 14 day ban also. Luckily holidays next week."

Famine:  "Hmmm thats strange, they negative isk'd my bots wallet to nearly -700m isk... I know they negative your wallet for the estimate value you used the bot for but roughly that would equal the amount value of what i mined this week i think... if they went further back on the logs wallet wud be down in the -40 to -50bisk range."

spod:  "I have just had 4 accounts banned :/ .. thought I was being so careful too. Ah well. I guess eventually they catch up. Time to roll some different ones I suppose. This only came a week after I started ice-mining with 2 of them that got banned. 3rd was a relatively new miner. The 4th was on a VPN, so I don't know why that got flagged. Others on a VPN and mains did not get it. All were using VMWare. I think the worst thing is that they have the stuff in their hangars that I can't get at. Slav, when can we have auto-place to a corporate hangar?!?

"They also negative ISK'd the characters wallets too. I wonder if it's worth biomassing them. Pity though since some are 15mil+ SP characters.  Might be a good time for me to properly separate the bots and mains!"

spod:  "Yea, it will take around 3 billion to zero out the balances on the chars I've had banned. I'm thinking that might be the end of the bot-box. Just say screw it and go play Skyrim or Civ5.  Got nearly a year out of EVE thanks to EVE Pilot, in the end it just feels like a second job."

June 18:

spod:  "Just temp banned. May make a new fleet of miners to pay off the ones that got negative ISK'd.  It still bothers me how they came to ban mine. I had the timers set to take breaks and be pretty 'human like' I thought. I didn't mine excessively (max of about 10 hours a day, often less). Maybe I just need to reduce the timers further."

June 19:

rrfarmer:   "Yep, about 2 billion in the red. Wow I must have mined a ton of Veldspar.

"Been using the bot for about 2 months.  This ban is weird, I only booted for a max of 6-8 hours a day, every other day, with a ton of delays and log off times (did a lot of them manually).  Also I would take the accounts and go talk in chat on them, get ganked, run corp OPs, and everything a human would do.  they must really be getting serious about banning bots. 2 billion in the red is crazy. And with all the regular playing stuff I was doing on these accounts..."

Famine:  "Well there would be an increase in bots being banned, CCP used to only mass ban bots every few months.  Now they detect and ban bots on a daily basis.  I reckon they have some new toys they are using to find them cause there are a hell of a lot of bans going around that started last week."

"Going negative ISK is not just from buying plex, if you are botting they will estimate the total cost of what you mined, negative ISK your wallet, you then have to sell all that ore you mined in order to get your wallet back to being positive.  That ensures the economy stays stable."

Famine:   "When i started using Eve Pilot i knew it was always only a matter of time until i got caught. Im not bothered about it, i can get caught 1 more time before i have to stop all together and make a new account unassociated with my other accounts.  Would never want that char perma banned.

"Using any botting software you WILL get caught eventually, i can 100% guarantee you. It is only a matter of time. Get into botting knowing and accepting this is a must."

June 20:

Dinky:  "The program is no longer safe to use if you want to maintain your accounts. Consider this:

1. One account per VPN
2. 6-8 Hours per day
3. Custom bookmarks
4. Custom directories & custom executable names
5. Frequent breaks

....and miner still detected and banned accounts as a result. These miners were new. Had never used the same computer configuration and were all running VMWare.......go figure!"

Dinky:  "I only lost 2 of my 5 active botting accounts so far. The 2 accounts were on vmware with each using its own subscribed VPN. Only 1 account per VM and VPN so 5 VM's were running in total. I expect to loose all of them shortly so I have taken the precaution to move the assets out of them and monitor the situation over the next few days. I will then use redguard with new toons and see how I get on.

"My main accounts are okay as they all have separate email addresses & don't use VPN or VMWARE.

"As I said in my original post I only botted a few hours per day on each toon so I think the flagging must have come from the client itself perhaps through the new launcher.

"Whilst I understand the reason for you changing my statement I still think it is a very bad time time to be botting. CCP seem to be winning the battle judging by the number of posts from previously very successful elusive botters."

Zdzichu:  "maybe what i writing not will be popular, but ... MINING AT BOT ISIN'T SAFE ANYMORE !!!  that was , 2 - 6 years ago, right now - after that many years CCP got toys to catching botters, SLAV EB is a great and usable toy but - like others program like this easy to detecting..."

spod:  "I've wondered about only mining in evening hours, i.e. drastically reducing the number of hours and then taking a day/days off every now and then. Maybe that will help. I'll have to crunch the numbers and see if it will even be feasible to run the bots for that short a time and be able to keep the accounts running + make anything decent. If they're only making a few hundred million over the cost of the monthly plex then it's just not worth it."

June 25:

macrolab1:  "1.1 changed Inventory windows so Slav has work to do."

Slav2 (EP developer):  "Ok, it will take some time to fix. Changes in setting files so first run wizard cannot be completed."

Slav2 (EP dev):  "Dont try to use bot while it is not fixed. In best case it will not work, in worst - you will get banned."

Slav2 (EP dev):  "CCP implemented crc checks and logging time intervals between making settings. You can see these timers in core_public__.yaml file and I think we need to add more randomization intervals here just in case if this info will be used by CCP to track bots."

Slav2 (EP dev):  "The first test version is ready. It works with courier w/o any noticeable problems, hopefully it will work with trader and miner too. I will need to sleep couple of hours and go to work. Can continue tests after the work only."

"edited. Storyline missions support is still broken."

June 26:

Famine (On whether a patch will affect a bot):  "Normal update yes that takes like 2 seconds to update, pretty much guaranteed to not effect the bot... major updates that are 650 MB that change the GUI, the inventory system and dozens of other changes... well the only answer to that is.. DUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

DSeverach:  "Shader Quality, Texture Quality, and LOD Quality all say High and need to be Low."

Slav2 (EP dev):  "Yeah, CCP changed place where they store these settings, I will need to add corrections."

ComalDave: "Eve Miner Statistics. Prices are totally bogus. It is telling me I can make 1 Trillion per hour mining Plagioclase. That is 1,065,301,000,000 ISK per hour. I think something is wrong!"

andre.h91:  "3 or 4 day after buy evetrader bot got banned...  I use this bot for 4-5 hour for day..."

June 30:


Поймал банан на 14 суток. написано при входе в игру 
(I was banned for 14 days.  This appeared when I entered the game)

User ------- is banned
Last login: 2012.06.16 02:33
Number of visits: 171
Reason: EULA/TOS Violation - Macro use
Until: 2012.06.30

По идее сегодня истекает 14 суток - но пока перса не разбанили.Кто сталкивался с этим - посоветуйте что делать ?
(The 14 days has expired - but not until the Persian unban.  Who has experienced this - advise what to do?)

Акк разбанили.Но он щас в минусе на 34кк.Поправить можно это ?
(Account is unbanned.  But he is currently in the red at 34 cc.  Can you fix this?)


  1. These aren't tears. They are rather sighs. This is bad. Botters shall cry.

    "i can get caught 1 more time before i have to stop all togethe" This is a crucial mistake on CCPs side. They should permaban botter accounts on the first time or negwallet them with some seriously punitive amount, like 10B on top of botted value.

    Now bans are simply calculated into the costs. CCP shouldn't make botters simply unhappy and annoyed. They should terminate them without mercy.

    1. In February and March there were tears. Now both sides are digging in for a war of attrition. Think of it as sov warfare. Who will break first? CCP broke once when things were neglected at the time of last year's layoffs. Now Team Security is gaining the upper hand. But can they keep it? That is part of the reason for these posts.

  2. all i know is there were 3 pods mining for hours in my home system and it was all my fault.

  3. Perhaps all these botters should ban together and launch an attack against CCP's login servers.

    CCP is already engaging in digital warfare with everyone of their users. The have written features into thirty game client to spy and monitor users files and setting. Writting that they have the ability to do something in a TOS does not make an illegal activity legal.

    They steal the contents of your ram, containing all kinds of personal information that is not in anyway connected to Eve online.

    I think an engagement in digital terrorism warrants one in return.. IMHO.

  4. @the poster above,

    How do you know this? Can it be stopped, and is it really illegal?