Input automation, as CCP Falcon defined in his forum post on 25 November:
"...refers to actions that are commonly also referred to as botting or macroing. This term is used to describe, but is not limited to, the automation of actions which have consequences in the EVE universe."So why do I believe that ISBoxer users are going to receive bans for input automation? Because of the workarounds they have publicly described on the official EVE Online forums and other places. These descriptions of actions users will take to circumvent the input broadcasting rules led Team Security's CCP Grimmi to write the following in Friday's security dev blog:
"During discussions about the input multiplexing and broadcasting issue on forums and in tickets, we have noticed a frequent misunderstanding we would like to take this opportunity to address. Any use of macros to interact with the game world is prohibited by EULA now, and has always been."Since I was told on the forums yesterday that I couldn't possibly have read the security dev blog since it was unclear on what is and isn't allowed, I'd like to take the opportunity to deconstruct these two sentences. The first sentence reads:
"During discussions about the input multiplexing and broadcasting issue on forums and in tickets, we have noticed a frequent misunderstanding we would like to take this opportunity to address."This sentence, I believe, refers to the back and forth going on between the players who support the stricter enforcement of Section 6A3 of the EULA and those who don't. One of the main arguments of those who oppose the enforcement of the prohibition of input broadcasting claim that the ban will have no practical effect and then go on to describe several workarounds that they believe circumvent the input broadcast ban and are compliant with the EULA.
The next sentence, I believe, demolishes that argument:
"Any use of macros to interact with the game world is prohibited by EULA now, and has always been."The second sentence, in my view, implies that at least some of the workarounds described are considered macros and are violations of the EULA. Quite frankly, I have not waded through the over 140 pages of the forum thread, so I don't know all of the workarounds listed. But one I do know is ISBoxer's round robin option.
Now, I was unsure exactly how round robin in ISBoxer works, so I found a YouTube instruction video filmed by Joe Thaler, the creator of Inner Space and ISBoxer, that explained how the feature works. Starting at the 2:00 mark, and ignoring all references to broadcasting, which is not necessary to use round robin, I took away that round robin performs the following steps.
- ISBoxer performs an action in the game world. For example, in EVE, the press of the F1 key.
- ISBoxer performs an action or actions that selects the next client to interact with the next time the hotkey is pressed.
Oh. So pressing one hotkey will perform multiple tasks, one of which interacts with the EVE Online game world. Let's look at that second sentence again:
"Any use of macros to interact with the game world is prohibited by EULA now, and has always been."He used the word "any", didn't he? Any, in the context that CCP Grimmi used the word, is easily replaced by the word "all".
I think ISBoxers are going to get caught because, when I looked at the video, round robin appears to act as a simple hotkey. The focus of the display window never shifted, so the user may not realize that more than one action is performed. But, according to CCP Grimmi's statement, if more than one action is performed, that is activity prohibited by the EULA.
I almost feel sorry for ISBoxer users. Almost. But those who use ISBoxer for the windows management and don't try to violate the spirit of the EULA won't run afoul of Team Security. I believe only the users who try to get cute and rules lawyer their way around the ban will wind up with a 30 day ban. Watching the results next month should prove interesting.