So I've been thinking about the whole Bots issue in general and hoping someone can shed some light on the topic, since I rarely play MMO (never touched WoW) and am unfamiliar with what mechanics have been used to combat botting recently.
Hypothetically, if you were to design D3 (or other MMO), how would you combat the Bot problem? Also, what are some of the best designs you've seen in combating Bots of the games you've played?
From my limited exposure to MMO, it seems that the designs focus mostly on external (outside of the game world) checks, Ex. monitoring algorithms like Warden, idle kick, fast login kick...etc. But what of in-game checks disguised as part of the game?
What I mean is common scenarios when you play the game that require "intelligent input", particularly for hell / Inferno, via combinations of monster skill combination, terrain ...etc that requires the human touch. Similar to the concept behind Captcha, but in this case, entertaining captcha with proper game world context. I suppose you could view them as mini-games designed to require intelligent input.
Now I'm not saying use captcha directly and force it into a game where the context is all wrong, (imagine a captcha popping up when you reach a checkpoint...) but rather create entertaining scenarios or events in-game that requires the human touch. Just an (bad) example off the top of my head to illustrate what I mean: A magic circle trap triggers while you are crossing a hallway, trapping you in the circle and disabling your ability (no teleport or leap) while you are in it, to escape the trap you have to look for an opening on the edges of the circle, and there are 3 layers of magic circle (circle in a circle in a circle) with randomized or possibly roaming opening. If you don't make it out of the circle in a given amount of time bad things happen (Kick / MF+GF debuff / Death ...etc).
Of course any such design must be able to defeat packet sniffing or it's equivalent in D3 (not sure if packet sniffing is still applicable in D3, but if it's possible to sniff what the correct response to a given scenario is...), but I don't think it's all that hard to implement various good "captchas" that fits into the game context (and hopefully entertaining, or at least not distracting) which can defeat most bots, or at least lower bot feasibility. Hell, throw in some interesting rewards for scoring well on these "captchas" should make me look forward to them.
One thing that i believe will make botting harder is the "supposedly" high difficult in Inferno... What made bots possible in Di2 was the fact that it became to easy in higher levels (obviously because of game exploits like the hammerdin' for instance). The fact that DI3 rewards killing champs and elites makes a viable obstacle for botting. They're random and have random affixes... off course in time you will have exploits but if they correct them i think you may have a good way of stopping bots... IMHO
What makes botting so hard to stop in Diablo is that the game doesn't require skill strictly speaking. Once you have good enough items you run at enemies, spam whatever and they die. And the AI opponents have known tendencies and spells, so even if you make some bot killer enemy they can be reprogrammed to defeat it. It's not like bots are that much dumber than average players. At least they know when to retreat.
I wonder if the first wave of D3 bots will have good health globe strategies in mind.
To defeat bots.
Make color box and Player would be force to click right one color when it show // Bot cant recognize colors at screen
easy and safe
It would work something like this.
In game, after random period of time, would pop-up bar witch colors. There should be hint, with one to click right.
It should have timer like 5-10 min to do that, and for player this operation should take 2 sec. When User is afk, game
should self disable botchecker. Colors can't be code in game.
@ Raesene That's why You have time, to do that, and would take only two sec.
@ ShadoutMapesAbsolutely there are like Police programs to recognize people etc. I think those advance programs would be too expensive to write for videogame... or whatever (:
Well, that's all i got in mind.
Apart from what I wrote. Every system will fall, only solution Like aj2000 sad is "human touch".
It should be something common for people and hard for machine like standing, jumping, or shot-put.
I suppose they could make those card authenticators or whatever they are required, then require authentication every 5 or ten games you create/join. I'm sure people would initially be upset about having to use it, but in the long term it would add antibotting capability and account security. Unless you can just find a way to send the information packets stored on the card without swiping. Not really sure how the packet injection and hardware interaction works.