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PulsarXc  
#1 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 9:34:12 AM(UTC)
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OK i do understand that botting is against EULA I understand that you can be banned **IF** you get caught, but also that its hard to detect bots like questor.

My Question bearing in mind I have limited codeing knowledge/skills etc but will try to figure out your replys.

Why is it so difficult to detect bots like questor?
From trolling the net ive read various posts on diff forums about python injection etc etc
my understanding is. Its possible just dont mess up your code and start makeing exotic calls to the server. but others say its easy for CCP to detect they just dont have the man hours to deploy into looking for people.

maybe somebody can just explain simply how detection is hard (not impossible)Obviously i understand the risk of using bots or I wouldnt be here lol.

Another thing maybe Da_Teach should put up a disclaimer of using Questor :P
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thorthor  
#2 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 9:51:24 AM(UTC)
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As far as i know CPP has no tools to detect macros. The only reason people get banned are by petitions from other players and the transfer of big sums of ISK for money.
vercetti  
#3 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 1:06:11 PM(UTC)
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How exactly do they know it's for RL money? Makes me a bit worried every time I transfer a billion or two to my alt.
PulsarXc  
#4 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 1:38:54 PM(UTC)
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I wouldnt send billions to my alt id use the contract system to hide the transfers in. few 100 million transfer id go with to alts.

there was that ban of people using the eryan bot but they were sending huge sums all to 1 account that was found to be RMTing so all chars accociated with the acc got the ban hammer.

but im mainly intrested in "how hard is it to detect Questor" the bot seems to run perfect so obv no funny code errors so does this make it harder? does it replicate the same server calls that would be used in manual mission running? personally i love Questor fuels my PVP habbit. Even tho i accept the risks botting id just like to know the basics of detection.

only thing i see with questor is that when it targets a NPC generally that NPC's data etc doesnt show up in the selection window "above oerview" and sometimes it will try to lock a NPC your shooting when it pops it says NPC is no longer in xxx system.
Da_Teach  
#5 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 1:52:04 PM(UTC)
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Well the funny part is that it's not hard at all for CCP to detect bots like Questor, ISXEVE and all the python injection crap out there. But they just do not seem to care. Because I just can't imagine CCP having such crap developers that they couldn't write a few detection routines.

However some speculate that EVE wouldn't be the EVE we know now without bots because they think bots are too tightly connected to the current state of the EVE market that removal of bots would instantly crash the market as we know it. Which they think would be bad for EVE.

I am inclined to agree that the bot community is regulating the market as we currently know it in EVE, however I disagree on the part where 'they' think bot removal from eve would be bad for eve. I think eve would survive a botless sandbox, because that's the beauty of a sandbox like eve. Prices would go up, more people will actually start mining manually (since it'll earn much more isk then it does now) and at some point would stabilize again.

Anyhow, only time will tell how much CCP cares about Questor. One small note to anyone using it, I am not going into a 'tug war' with CCP. Once Questor is detected, its over.



PulsarXc  
#6 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 3:07:21 PM(UTC)
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you said before you wont play tug war with CCP but maybe if we for example took down the blog and integrated it to the now forum people wont find questor as easy when googling EVE L4 mission bot :P

wont stop it being used but would limit CCP knowing bout it
Da_Teach  
#7 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 3:20:51 PM(UTC)
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I didn't blog about Questor for google not to find it. If I wanted to keep using Questor without CCP ever knowing about it then I would have kept it private. That way I would have been able to keep using it till the end of time.

But I like to share my work, I also like to share how I did certain things. It's actually against my 'feelings' to not share the code of Questor. But I know *that* would cause a lot more issues.
PulsarXc  
#8 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 3:38:19 PM(UTC)
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true shareing how you did it would prob end up in a quick ban and patch and no more Questor :(

And we highly appreciate your work :P
henkpenk  
#9 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 4:32:49 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Da_Teach Go to Quoted Post
I didn't blog about Questor for google not to find it. If I wanted to keep using Questor without CCP ever knowing about it then I would have kept it private. That way I would have been able to keep using it till the end of time.

But I like to share my work, I also like to share how I did certain things. It's actually against my 'feelings' to not share the code of Questor. But I know *that* would cause a lot more issues.


What about making this board private and ask for a donation in order to get access?
Da_Teach  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 7:17:47 PM(UTC)
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Still defeats the purpose. How free Questor is, is not up to debate guys. If you dislike the way Questor is available, you can switch to other bots. I will however not turn into any type of pay-site. Not that I dislike money, but asking money means responsibility and I simply do not have the time for that. And it will not make nearly enough money for me to quit my day job.

If you are afraid that this might get your account banned by CCP then you should not use Questor. However Questor is here to stay in its current (free) form.

So back to the original topic, how easy is it to detect bots like Questor. It is very easy. Both ISXEVE and Questor could be detected by a minor client side check.

p.s. CCP, if you want me to plug the holes in your client, feel free to email me, da_teach@thehackerwithin.com :D
Semaj  
#11 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 11:01:00 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Da_Teach Go to Quoted Post
Still defeats the purpose. How free Questor is, is not up to debate guys. If you dislike the way Questor is available, you can switch to other bots. I will however not turn into any type of pay-site. Not that I dislike money, but asking money means responsibility and I simply do not have the time for that. And it will not make nearly enough money for me to quit my day job.

If you are afraid that this might get your account banned by CCP then you should not use Questor. However Questor is here to stay in its current (free) form.

So back to the original topic, how easy is it to detect bots like Questor. It is very easy. Both ISXEVE and Questor could be detected by a minor client side check.

p.s. CCP, if you want me to plug the holes in your client, feel free to email me, da_teach@thehackerwithin.com :D


I love the fact that questor is free, and yet probably the best bot out there ATM. Not only that but it would make no differnce if the bot was free or not, as a RMT will more than happly pay for this bot. Hell i would and i like Pulsar am using in to fuel PvP and pay for PLEX.

All that we can ask each other to do is be carefull how you use it, try not to draw to much attention to ourselfs and we will be able to reap the benafits of this for as long as possible. But.....like all good things, it will come to an end eventually. lets just hope that its later rather than sooner :)
Isker  
#12 Posted : Saturday, January 29, 2011 7:37:06 PM(UTC)
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There's a combination of reasons why CCP does things like they do. While it is possible for them to detect injected stuff, especially the stuff injected directly into Eve's Python, there are ways to bypass whatever they do. In the past, like with WoW, the ultimate result was a continual game of cat and mouse that the botters almost always won. That's why WoW's ultimate success in shutting down the most popular botting program was with litigation and not programming. At the end of the day it is impossible to control what's happening on the client computer.

CCP has chosen the wise route I think, and that's in putting all their effort towards ferreting out RMT. With regards to moving game currency around, the situation is reversed. Users can never really control or know what's happening on the server and how it's being monitored, so CCP will always have the upper hand. The other point is that RMT is directly or indirectly what's harmful, not botting. Botting very rarely results in others being negatively effected, whereas RMT begets a lot of foul things. I was told, but I forget where, that the vast majority of RMT'd currency in both WoW and Eve originates from hacked accounts being pilfered, which obviously has a very negative effect on the user and costs for the game company to rectify the situation.

The main advertised CCP campaign against any type of botting was in a situation where trade mission botters were resulting in huge amounts of server resources being sucked up. It's easy to see why in this case CCP cracked down on it. The side effect of certain types of implants going up in price is neither here nor there, no one really gave a shit one way or another.

Beyond that, the point raised above that botting (mining) being important to the foundation of the Eve economy has merit. It's like illegal immigrants in the US. People complain about them taking jobs, but who wants to be the guy picking plants in the fields for $7/hour or hand washing cars? No one, but someone's gotta do it. Turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants is similar to turning a blind eye to botting. With a wink and a nod we all pretend it's against the rules and punishable, but the reality is different.


tldr: CCP cares about RMT because it's fueled by accounts being hacked which sucks for players and costs a lot of customer support resources to handle. Botting is a drop in the bucket for RMT, doesn't hurt people, and takes significant development resources to stay even with ever increasing bot anti-detection methods. It's also possible CCP considers botters to be in a kind of symbiotic relationship in supporting the Eve economy.

Edited by user Saturday, January 29, 2011 7:44:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Legit ISK.com - Not so legit
Isker  
#13 Posted : Saturday, January 29, 2011 7:38:46 PM(UTC)
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In regards to Questor being free, I don't think it's a big deal with accessibility. It's already gated by the Innerspace subscription requirement. While the cost of Innerspace is extremely minimal, it's enough to be the separating line between people who will pay for such a thing and people who won't. The difference in quantity between people who will pay $x and $2x is much smaller.

There is the distinct possibility that CCP would take a different stance to Questor than it does mining bots. Mining bots do something that people don't want to, and serves the function mentioned above in supporting the Eve economy. Questor is much different in what it produces, which has a broader impact on the economy and directly intersects with popular player activities. While I don't see it negatively impacting other people, I do think it's important to keep the distinction in mind.

Edited by user Saturday, January 29, 2011 7:46:21 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Legit ISK.com - Not so legit
PulsarXc  
#14 Posted : Monday, February 14, 2011 6:26:24 PM(UTC)
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For the paranoid out there a quick google search:

There are two main ways (that we know of) for an error to get into CCP's server logs.

One is for an exception to be unhandled in the client and get sent to the log server. By default, those exceptions are forwarded to ccp (if you run a local copy of logserver.exe it will tell you as much).

Two is for an exception to be unhandled in the server, typically as a result of a call you make remotely through a proxy. In this case, the exception is sent back to you over the wire (serialized).

The first case is relatively easy to deal with: A paranoid sprinkling of try blocks and some tweaks to their logging/alert code to avoid sending exceptions to the server. I think most people are probably doing this if they're paying attention.

The second, I suspect people aren't being as smart about. In a lot of cases, these errors are generated during normal gameplay, so they might look innocuous - but the important detail is that if your injected python has bugs, it will produce server side exceptions that the regular game cannot (or simply does not), which makes it obvious that you're doing something you shouldn't. It's also possible that your stack gets sent over the wire in these cases, which has obvious consequences.

Some examples of things that fall under category 2:

Attacking an entity that is already dead
Attacking an entity that is not currently a locked target
Warping to something you don't have the ability to warp to
Passing invalid arguments to a remote call (like an invalid warp-to range)

Note that while a player could accidentally trigger some of these during normal play (due to latency and/or desyncs), if your python is repeatedly trying to do things it can't and producing exceptions on the server, CCP is bound to notice (if they're looking).

The best solution to this is to do client side validation of your commands before you issue them, and combine that with some basic latency protection. For example, if you just activated a module 250ms ago, activating it again (or deactivating it) is likely to produce an error due to latency, so you might as well not bother doing either for a little while.

The bottom line in all of this seems to be that CCP like all MMO compaines wants to be seen as cracking down on bots.

If they really wanted to they could get tons of information and ban every botter by why bother.
If your not adversely affecting another players game experience and your not making so much isk so fast that you set of every flag and get seen as a potential RMT then why would they ban you and lose the continued income from your sub or your PLEX buying stream that feeds money directly to CCP.

Player reporting is I suspect still the number one ban method because you have attracted enough in game attention to warrant a petiton and they have to be seen to be responding to that or forum whines start to appear.

Like all good things used in moderation it will do no harm get greedy and you will get shafted one way or another.

Edited by user Monday, February 14, 2011 6:27:27 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Isker  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:48:30 AM(UTC)
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The best way is to interact with the game as closely as an actual human would. Instead of calling a function directly, you call the Click event on the menu that would call it. Something like that. The closer you are to the human origin the more client error checking you will not inadvertently bypass.
Legit ISK.com - Not so legit
AutomanEmpire  
#16 Posted : Monday, February 21, 2011 9:46:04 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Da_Teach Go to Quoted Post
I am inclined to agree that the bot community is regulating the market as we currently know it in EVE, however I disagree on the part where 'they' think bot removal from eve would be bad for eve. I think eve would survive a botless sandbox, because that's the beauty of a sandbox like eve. Prices would go up, more people will actually start mining manually (since it'll earn much more isk then it does now) and at some point would stabilize again.


It's the initial bad game design that has lead to bots though. Mining is so easy to automate that it can be done with simple screen scraping tools like autoit - I built my first EVE bot just like that.

Now that the situation is where it is with what appears to be masses of bots running 23/7 making the majority of players plenty of ISK it would be disastrous of CCP to suddenly throw in detection adn ban 30-50% of their accounts.

If it were me I would slowly change the way that the most tedious grinds are carried out - mining and ratting are the big culprits here and they need to be made enjoyable for the average player, not super exciting and stressful but interesting and varied enough so that the number of people botting is reduced over time. But like a lot of game companies all they seem to be interested in is making better and better graphics with minimal effort placed on gameplay.

They're obviously succesful but I can't help wondering if they couldn't be a lot more succesful by improving the gameplay.
Bonzo  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:19:18 AM(UTC)
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I suppose their idea of improving gameplay is investing in Incarna. Personally I couldn't give a toss about walking around inside a station. Sure it sounds cool and it will be a novelty at first, but at the end of the day you're not going to have spawling station environments to explore, you're going to have three or four different areas, with variations on each based on race/faction. It would be more interesting if they actually introduced missions inside the stations, but I still feel it's only going to be a set of standard, generic environments.

And let's not forget the effort they're putting into Dust 514. I doubt the main gameplay will be seeing any major renovations for some time to come. Plus, even if there were, there's no gauruntee people would stop botting.
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