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Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by aj2000, Mar 30, 2012. | Replies: 26 | Views: 1594

  1. aj2000

    aj2000 IncGamers Member

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    Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    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.
  2. xploziv

    xploziv IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    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
  3. RazeBarb

    RazeBarb IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    There's only 1 way I can think of:

    Requiring an Authenticator code for every game you create.
  4. marshmallow

    marshmallow IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    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.
  5. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    I would be okay with that.
    But I'm not sure it would stop botters.
    Authenticator can run on a PC, so it cant be that hard to automatically get a key and copy paste it into the game.

    Also it seems like the best way to play will be not to create new gamers, so in that regard it wouldnt even help to have a Captcha-test for each game created.

    I'm not sure much can be done to totally stop bots. Probably just a matter of making it hard for them to be worth it, with constant detection and banning.


  6. Fromtheshad

    Fromtheshad IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    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.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  7. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    I dot know, if the bot could detect when such a challenge appears, I bet an advanced bot could analyze the screen for the correct colors.
  8. Raesene

    Raesene IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    I don't want to have to solve captchas in order to play a video game. This would just annoy me.


  9. Fromtheshad

    Fromtheshad IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    @ Raesene That's why You have time, to do that, and would take only two sec.

    @ ShadoutMapes Absolutely 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.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  10. Smips

    Smips IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    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.
  11. Zvorak

    Zvorak IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    You need to design content so it isn't bot-able, hence that's why they are making the game so you won't be able to run, say pindle, but instead have to move around and kill mobs / mini bosses. Add to that the mf boost from playing like that.

    Every other solution will impact on the "regular" gamers enjoyment, and thus is not acceptable.
  12. leonking

    leonking IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    High level bots running normal difficulty for gold is unstoppable by content design alone, which can easy ruin your economics.


  13. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    Not if the money you can get from running Normal 24 hours a day is dwarfed by what you can get from playing Inferno.
    Wouldnt be worth the risk then - assuming Blizzard would ban the users from time to time.
  14. RyTEK

    RyTEK IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    The Hellgate: London reboot that is out now occasionally asks for your security code. Please allow me to explain: Say you have a code 9549. You will be required to MOUSECLICK (not enter via keyboard) your code on a RANDOMIZED numberpad that appears on screen. For instance the on screen numpad may look like this:

    789
    153
    426

    You would obviously click the upper-right, middle, lower-left, upper right to continue. And it would look completely different the next time it popped up. It takes about .5 seconds after you get used to it. It isn't even a nuisance. The key here being that you have a set code, so you don't need to take the extra 5 seconds to open your mobile authenticator app.
  15. MoUsE_WiZ

    MoUsE_WiZ IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    OCR beats this ridiculously easily.



  16. RyTEK

    RyTEK IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    Hey, I'm no programmer, but you are saying it is "ridiculously easy" to write a C# script that OCRs distorted numbers that appear at a random time in a random location on the screen and then have 4 perfect mouseclick events on a random grid of numbers, then so be it. That's why I got into finance. :p

    How about a right-click, "report player as bot" option?


  17. MoUsE_WiZ

    MoUsE_WiZ IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    You didn't mention the numbers were distorted. That takes it from ridiculously easy (everyone would break it on their own) to reasonably easy (someone would break it and open source it). In text based CAPTCHAs, the hardest part is typically breaking the string into individual characters; the keypad layout already does this work for someone. Report-a-player is a little effective in games like WoW where you'd actually see the bot... in D3 I'm not so sure it would do anything.



  18. aj2000

    aj2000 IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    Interesting, does it seem to help cut down on the botting problem in HGLR? Sounds nifty.



  19. stonerdoom

    stonerdoom IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    If you find a bot creater/user you take them into the town square and shoot them in the face while their family watches. A video of that then becomes the D3 splash screen at log-in. Problem solved. :yes:
  20. Greizer

    Greizer IncGamers Member

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    Re: Game design - How would you defeat Bots?

    How about if Blizz makes a global whisper every few hours of play? Something that everyone knows to answer, like "What is three + three?" There's an actual employee doing this, not a program, so the question is different each time. The message stays on your screen until you whisper back; if you don't do it before the next msg comes, you'll be temp-banned for 2 hours (or however much is the difference between whispers). The time limit could be tweaked, so that it's not too annoying for players to answer the question, but it's too inconvenient for botters to keep checking their screens and answering (defeating the purpose of botting, which is to 'play without playing', basically).

    I'd be ok with a check every 30 minutes, but I imagine many people might complain about that. The ban time might be altered too, it could be hours or days. There could be a 'question of the day' in a different color that, if left unanswered, would net you a one-week ban or smth. If you afk'd for the whole time between questions, you wouldn't get ban ofc. I might've left something unaccounted for; this is just an idea that I had off the top of my head, just brainstorming here.

    The side effect of this system would be that all the stupid people would be banned regularly, too. The QQ on the official forums would be very entertaining to watch...

    OMG it aks mi wut clr te skai iz i answr RED omg i lose mai ENI!1111
    -the sky's not red dude
    -yah it's blue man, wtf
    OMG OMG NUBS GTFO I LOs mai ENI FFS FU BLIZ FU FUFUUUU!1
    -lul crai moar nubu (posted by Bashiok)

    Good times. :nod:

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