|A drop in auto-detection bans|
The reworking of ice belts + the rat composition in 0.0 belts appears to have made a significant impact on bots.
— CCP Stillman (@CCP_Stillman) July 26, 2013
|The automatic bot detection numbers for 2013 so far|
I've long maintained that just catching bots isn't enough. When CCP Sreegs first appeared at Fanfest 2011 one of his goals was to make botting and RMT unattractive. If you give someone less incentive to do something, you get less of that activity. And in the end I want to see less of the activity, not just see gaudy numbers for Team Security. If CCP Stillman is correct, the developers are getting into the anti-botting/anti-RMT act.
But are the design changes really making an impact. Botters on the forums I visit see Odyssey as an opportunity to get low sec ores without having to visit low sec. But the botting community isn't just one big community and I'm visiting the forums of the more advanced bots. Judging by the amount of tears on the official forums, I'd say that ice botters were definitely impacted.
|Caution, ISBoxer At Work|
If the official forums are reliable, then the ice sites don't stay active for very long before players drain the ice away. If a site only stays up for 30 minutes, its hard for a bot to remain active long enough to be detected. The more advanced bots whose forums I visit have worked this out, but for the personal bots? I bet the reports of pods attempting to ice mine have gone way down over the past two months.
The null sec ratting changes are harder to judge. Sure, the changes to add scramblers to the really good null sec ratting sites potentially gives bots fits, but many bots already had ways to prioritize which rats to kill first. Needless to say, the tears generated were poor.
My guess is that the feature that really impacted null sec ratting were the changes to moon goo and the wars those spawned. Bots dock up with neutrals in the system, and I'm pretty sure that the rival parties are attempting to disrupt the ISK generating activities of their enemies. I know that Noir Mercenary Group deployed to Delve in order to shut down the activites of TEST renters. I'm sure that similar campaigns are currently underway against the renters/carebears of all the warring parties. So before evaluating the claims that the ratting changes made an impact against ratting bots, I'd like to see a slowdown, if not end, to the wars to see what the bot banning activity looks like during peacetime.
Some people will argue that CCP should not make design decisions to take botting and RMT into account. I disagree and hope to see more efforts from the game designers, even if not incredibly successful. After all, every little bit helps.