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Bots: Out of Control

BroochBrooch
Mabinogi Rep: 720
Posts: 28
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in General Chat
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I logged on this afternoon to find Belvast overrun by a swarm of reforge shops carefully tended by their 10-year-old human owners dressed in beginner outfits. I know gold farmers have always been a problem, but has Nexon lost its grip on the situation? Seemingly it's really easy for these bots to make accounts and set up shop in Belvast to the extent that they are more visible than actual players. Why aren't there restrictions being put in place to make it not profitable for bots to do this?

Comments

  • GretaGreta
    Mabinogi Rep: 40,375
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    edited March 5
    Nexon thought they will fix the problem by creating the total level restriction (300 level that is) in order to be able to purchase reforges, but didn't think about the upcoming Memory Update... I would say make some other kind of restriction or make it like 1000 total, but i bet some people wouldn't like that.
  • KensamaofmariKensamaofmari
    Mabinogi Rep: 28,110
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    Greta wrote: »
    Nexon thought they will fix the problem by creating the total level restriction (300 level that is) in order to be able to purchase reforges, but didn't think about the upcoming Memory Update... I would say make some other kind of restriction or make it like 1000 total, but i bet some people wouldn't like that.

    That won't work, because there are probably lvl 5k bots out there redistributing to lvl 30 bots to sell
  • LutetiumLutetium
    Mabinogi Rep: 2,090
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    The real problem is the playerbase believing that these are """bots""" when it's just other players making accounts, buying nx through dubious exchange rates or doing chargebacks and they're just selling the reforges on alt accounts then moving the gold to their main so it's the alt that gets banned and not their main.

    Because of all the people who fervently believe everything on the game is a bot, the real problem is not addressed. You can all start by NOT BUYING the reforges in those shops, and anyone willing to contribute to FIXING the problem with the ingame economy that nexon has no real ability to control short of draconian limitations on making new accounts like requiring an ID and manual approval before any new account is even allowed to play (or adding mysterious reforge to the ducat shop), can start buying NX legitimately and selling these cash shop items for less than the players who are making the accounts so often FALSELY called "bots".

    As for upping the level limit on cash shop items, it's completely moot and a meaningless gesture because leveling those alts is trivially easy to the fully reforged gach-only enchanted players making those accounts and the only real effect it will have is discouraging legitimate new players from buying cash shop items and lose nexon even more cash.

    I'm really not sure what is with the NA community and believing everything is a bot and having grandious fantasies that theres some sort of automated high conspiracy behind it, when in reality it's very clearly just players abusing the system because the ingame economy has a huge demand for reforges and a near non-existant supply in comparison, in a time when new content is designed around the player having reforged their gear in the late game using the mysterious reforging too that NA decided not to impliment in favor of keeping reforging a cash shop only method of character progression.

    TL;DR: Theres no bots just players abusing the economy, if you want to fix it sell cheap reforges OR petition the powers that be to add the mysterious reforging tool to the ducat shop as the game's content is now being balanced around reforging.
    Lycheenajee508ZephyrmaruImaizumiErorservFariison
  • KensamaofmariKensamaofmari
    Mabinogi Rep: 28,110
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    edited March 5
    Now since when were online gaming economy schemes regulated?
    Inb4 regulation happens.
  • BroochBrooch
    Mabinogi Rep: 720
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    edited March 5
    Lutetium wrote: »
    The real problem is the playerbase believing that these are """bots""" when it's just other players making accounts, buying nx through dubious exchange rates or doing chargebacks and they're just selling the reforges on alt accounts then moving the gold to their main so it's the alt that gets banned and not their main.

    Because of all the people who fervently believe everything on the game is a bot, the real problem is not addressed. You can all start by NOT BUYING the reforges in those shops, and anyone willing to contribute to FIXING the problem with the ingame economy that nexon has no real ability to control short of draconian limitations on making new accounts like requiring an ID and manual approval before any new account is even allowed to play (or adding mysterious reforge to the ducat shop), can start buying NX legitimately and selling these cash shop items for less than the players who are making the accounts so often FALSELY called "bots".

    As for upping the level limit on cash shop items, it's completely moot and a meaningless gesture because leveling those alts is trivially easy to the fully reforged gach-only enchanted players making those accounts and the only real effect it will have is discouraging legitimate new players from buying cash shop items and lose nexon even more cash.

    I'm really not sure what is with the NA community and believing everything is a bot and having grandious fantasies that theres some sort of automated high conspiracy behind it, when in reality it's very clearly just players abusing the system because the ingame economy has a huge demand for reforges and a near non-existant supply in comparison, in a time when new content is designed around the player having reforged their gear in the late game using the mysterious reforging too that NA decided not to impliment in favor of keeping reforging a cash shop only method of character progression.

    TL;DR: Theres no bots just players abusing the economy, if you want to fix it sell cheap reforges OR petition the powers that be to add the mysterious reforging tool to the ducat shop as the game's content is now being balanced around reforging.

    I have never heard of this practice so I wouldn't know that they're actual players. I haven't interviewed them to be able to conclude that with any degree of certainty. I simply refer to them as "bots" because they behave the way a bot would, in the sense that they are not customizing their avatars, are opening shops in the same area, and with the same shop name. There are also similarly dressed avatars nearby that are advertising gold sites which further led me to believe they are bots. Thank you for contributing to the thread.
  • KensamaofmariKensamaofmari
    Mabinogi Rep: 28,110
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    There's a term for this, I believe it's called money laundering.
    LycheeImaizumi
  • HelsaHelsa
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    If one person is logged into Mabinogi many times simultaneously is that alone considered botting? Or does the character have to be active and automatically controlled to be considered a bot? In the case of these shops, indeed it may be a small number of people logged in but if the characters are just standing there in order to keep the shop open are they bots? If folks don't care about the distinction and are bothered by it they can always use Enthrall to push the characters far enough away from their shops so that they are force closed, but then you might invite grief upon yourself doing so. What about someone logged in once using software to auto-control their character to train skills while tucked away in a dungeon room, is that botting; is that harmful?
  • AlshianAlshian
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    My only concern is that I better not get banned for buying reforges from Bots if they have a better deal than a player...
  • CrimsCrims
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    Greta wrote: »
    Nexon thought they will fix the problem by creating the total level restriction (300 level that is) in order to be able to purchase reforges, but didn't think about the upcoming Memory Update... I would say make some other kind of restriction or make it like 1000 total, but i bet some people wouldn't like that.

    Yeah I seem to recall a thread where someone showed that the bots were lining up to Blaanid. I have suggested ever since we had that update that level requirement should be increased to 6000 or something.
  • LutetiumLutetium
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    Helsa wrote: »
    If one person is logged into Mabinogi many times simultaneously is that alone considered botting? Or does the character have to be active and automatically controlled to be considered a bot?
    Bot is shorthand for Robot, using the term implies the characters are being automatically controlled without user input via a macro, script, memory editing, or otherwise.
    Helsa wrote: »
    In the case of these shops, indeed it may be a small number of people logged in but if the characters are just standing there in order to keep the shop open are they bots? If folks don't care about the distinction and are bothered by it they can always use Enthrall to push the characters far enough away from their shops so that they are force closed, but then you might invite grief upon yourself doing so.
    Mules or alt accounts would be the most accurate description for them since these are just players logging into multiple accounts and afking on them with shops open selling items which may or may not have been obtained using dubious methods. As for killing the mules using mobs; there are no mobs in belvast and the shop brownies they have active in the screenshot prevent the shop from closing if they're knocked away anyways so it would have no effect.
    Helsa wrote: »
    What about someone logged in once using software to auto-control their character to train skills while tucked away in a dungeon room, is that botting; is that harmful?
    That would be one of the correct things to refer to as a bot, while not harmful to the ingame economy I don't believe using such programs are allowed in the terms of service and may result in that player being banned.
    There's a term for this, I believe it's called money laundering.
    If the gold from the reforges is being sold out of game for real currency that would most definitely be the case, and why we as a community should not give these users the gold in the first place and create more legitimate sources of reforges (or petition to have mysterious reforges added into the ducat shop as intended) as I suggested in my previous post; as soon as it stops being profitable for people to do this they will stop doing it simple as that.
  • FroglordFroglord
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    edited March 5
    Bots or no bots, just ban the main accounts already (If there are any). I wouldn't even doubt the main accounts are the few sketchy 40k something players in high leveled guilds that do goldfarming/credit fraud for a living. The ones that people report all the time, but are almost never banned.
  • Gold_DragonGold_Dragon
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    I think it would be better if it was unlocked only after completing something like generation 1 instead of level restriction.
    KensamaofmariCrimsGretaFroglord
  • KensamaofmariKensamaofmari
    Mabinogi Rep: 28,110
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    Lutetium wrote: »
    Helsa wrote: »
    If one person is logged into Mabinogi many times simultaneously is that alone considered botting? Or does the character have to be active and automatically controlled to be considered a bot?
    Bot is shorthand for Robot, using the term implies the characters are being automatically controlled without user input via a macro, script, memory editing, or otherwise.
    Helsa wrote: »
    In the case of these shops, indeed it may be a small number of people logged in but if the characters are just standing there in order to keep the shop open are they bots? If folks don't care about the distinction and are bothered by it they can always use Enthrall to push the characters far enough away from their shops so that they are force closed, but then you might invite grief upon yourself doing so.
    Mules or alt accounts would be the most accurate description for them since these are just players logging into multiple accounts and afking on them with shops open selling items which may or may not have been obtained using dubious methods. As for killing the mules using mobs; there are no mobs in belvast and the shop brownies they have active in the screenshot prevent the shop from closing if they're knocked away anyways so it would have no effect.
    Helsa wrote: »
    What about someone logged in once using software to auto-control their character to train skills while tucked away in a dungeon room, is that botting; is that harmful?
    That would be one of the correct things to refer to as a bot, while not harmful to the ingame economy I don't believe using such programs are allowed in the terms of service and may result in that player being banned.
    There's a term for this, I believe it's called money laundering.
    If the gold from the reforges is being sold out of game for real currency that would most definitely be the case, and why we as a community should not give these users the gold in the first place and create more legitimate sources of reforges (or petition to have mysterious reforges added into the ducat shop as intended) as I suggested in my previous post; as soon as it stops being profitable for people to do this they will stop doing it simple as that.

    Issues for whether those items were bought with currency obtained in an illegal way is difficult to police. The amount was accepted in Nexon's system and the purchases went through when the reforges are bought by an account. And once that is distributed to buyers in game, it is even more difficult to find the source of the illegal activity. It is different from duped items that can be monitored.

    As for botting, I believe should be broadly defined as using various programming methods outside the original available programming provided by the hosts to gain any unfair advantages over others.

    And as for money laundering, yes the actual gold bot sellers are committing real world money laundering in a way. But if it is true that people are using mule accounts to sell goods whether they were obtained legally or illegally in order to transfer those funds to another account whether those funds are used for legal uses or illegal uses, that would also be money laundering. At least, that's how I see it.
    I think it would be better if it was unlocked only after completing something like generation 1 instead of level restriction.

    It's a good plan only for players who decided to skip or not do certain storylines yet will complain of unfair treatment.
  • BuffalosBuffalos
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    Lutetium wrote: »
    The real problem is the playerbase believing that these are """bots""" when it's just other players making accounts, buying nx through dubious exchange rates or doing chargebacks and they're just selling the reforges on alt accounts then moving the gold to their main so it's the alt that gets banned and not their main.
    So it's either bots for a goldfarm website/player, or players actually cheating. Either or, it needs to be contained before it gets out of hand (again).
    Fariison
  • LutetiumLutetium
    Mabinogi Rep: 2,090
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    I think it would be better if it was unlocked only after completing something like generation 1 instead of level restriction.
    If we're assuming it's long time players trying to make a profit I don't really believe having to finish G1 would disuade them, as blaanid gives plenty of ap to quickly level up water cannon or some puppet skills to blaze through the low level combat of G1 with ease and they're presumably already familiar with the game's mechanics so at worst it delays them an hour or two.
    Buffalos wrote: »
    So it's either bots for a goldfarm website/player, or players actually cheating. Either or, it needs to be contained before it gets out of hand (again).
    Which is why I suggested that we as a community stop buying from their shops and spread the word to other players not to buy from them as well, if the dubious practices cease to be profitable they will come to an end. Of course there are many players who don't care about the ethics or about the health of the economy or nexon being bumbled out of a profit that keeps the servers up and running due to the chargebacks that are presumably going on; to which I suggested adding the long missing mysterious reforging tool back to the ducat shop so those players have access to (albiet watered down and lower chance for high rolls) reforging without resorting to giving gold to potential money launderers when legitimate playeres arent producing a sufficient supply of reforges from the cash shop.

    Although I feel they will likely just switch to other items, such as enchant protect potions; as I've already seen those types of mules selling them in belvast on the Tarlach server, for that we're going to have to rely on Nexon to make those items more accessable via events with droprates above 0.13% (rounded to the nearest thousanth) or better still or in combination with a real revamp of the VIP service.

    But for this problem to go away we really have to stop falling for the bait and giving these players all the gold, and we need to come together and address the real problems in a way that our concerns can be communicated to Nexon corporate in a professional manner to ensure the health of the games economy as well as their profits from the cash shop items; not just screaming about chem trails and poison in the water making the frogs "BOTS".
    Buffalosstarkiller1286Fariison
  • LycheeLychee
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    I agree with Luteium's post. I've seen a lot of goldsellers and players who buy a bunch of gacha/ easy money making tools to sell to players in other games and then charge back the money they have spent. Most games find a way to make to fix that problem so the in game economy doesn't screw up, I used to play a game where the goldsellers / "bots" buy services and resell them x2 cheaper than what the player base sells... sometimes they are helping out the game economy by lowering prices. However, it doesn't seem like mabinogi's nexon can fix this, if they did they would have already have reforges implanted in game to be obtainable. A little too much P2W .. in mabinogi imo.
  • PolicromaPolicroma
    Mabinogi Rep: 5,535
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    edited March 6
    Alshian wrote: »
    My only concern is that I better not get banned for buying reforges from Bots if they have a better deal than a player...

    That may be something you have to worry about in the future. In Korea people started getting banned for buying goods stolen from players that were liquidated at crazy low prices. Who is to say Nexon wouldn't start doing the same for these reforges if they couldn't stop the bots by other means?

    I agree with the sentiment that the only thing we can/should do for now is not willingly or knowingly buy from these bots (and I will call them bots because their actions seem automated). Unfortunately for most of us this means fronting our own cash for reforging, which likely means waiting for reforging events when the upgrade rates are actually somewhat reasonable, which is what I do. IT IS NOT CONVENIENT! But that's life. If you want the money launderers to go away, stop buying from them and they will find something else to do. That is that.

    The only thing that really worries me is whether or not they can sell on the auction house. And if that's the case? I see only one possible answer to all this, and "free" players aren't going to like it.

    That won't work, because there are probably lvl 5k bots out there redistributing to lvl 30 bots to sell

    Reforges can only be traded once. And if it were a level 5k bot doing the money laundering, they'd be banned faster than their bot minions. I think we can be sure the money laundering takes place at the bot level, then is transferred back to whoever the "kingpin bot" is. And worse yet, the "kingpin bot" may be as much a throwaway character as the sales and spam bots.

    The problem with the level limit is that it was blown away by Blaanid. It's entirely cake to reach a few thousand levels now.

    It's probably some guy using credit card skimmers at gas stations to steal credit card numbers. Whether or not he plays the game for his own enjoyment is moot.
    ImaizumiFariison
  • HelsaHelsa
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    If people buy a bunch of gacha looking for "that one special thing" and then they have all this extra crap that they don't want, why should it be wrong for them to sell it? It seems to me that this very mechanic is precisely what sustains this game.
  • BuffalosBuffalos
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    Helsa wrote: »
    If people buy a bunch of gacha looking for "that one special thing" and then they have all this extra crap that they don't want, why should it be wrong for them to sell it? It seems to me that this very mechanic is precisely what sustains this game.
    What gacha are you doing that gives an absurd amount of reforge tools? Cause I need that in my life right about now,
    Fariison
  • HarukariHarukari
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    edited March 6
    Another bot thread huh?
    If nexon doesn't care to do anything about gachas knowing the lootbox law is getting passed here and there.
    What makes you think they care about doing something about bots?

    Bots don't bother me, they never have. They have cheaper prices which I'll gladly take over some other greedy player's prices.