Guild Wars 2 Security Team Automating Bot Detection
Mike Lewis, Security Coordinator for ArenaNet, has released detailed information on the continuing efforts to remove bots from Guild Wars 2 and the numbers are actually quite surprising. In November alone ArenaNet claims to have removed over 34,000 accounts that were allegedly running bots. In addition to these account bans Lewis also reports that ArenaNet had an average of 2,000 botting reports from players per hour and has managed to trim that number down to about 20 hourly player reports. While this is certainly good news for Guild Wars 2 players, those numbers tend to raise questions on how ArenaNet is isolating bots from actual players who are just farming or killing some time.
Lewis presents a three pronged attack for actually isolating actual botting accounts:
1) Data Collection: ArenaNet has collected large amounts of data detailing how a normal player behaves in game and how a bot behaves. Using special contracted teams ArenaNet is able to pinpoint traits of botting accounts using an automated process rather than just depending on player feedback
2) GM Observation: The Guild Wars 2 GM team has a large number of tools to observe the game in real time and “patrol the world.”
3) Player Feedback: Combined with the previous 2 tools, player feedback and reports are able to be jumped on and analyzed quickly and efficiently.
Obviously the plan sounds great and the numbers look even better, but are players noticing a difference? In the end problems like bots all come down to player perception. ArenaNet can get rid of thousands of accounts and react very quickly but if players still see them as impacting the game to a high degree that word will spread very quickly. So it comes right down to you and me. Have you been reporting bots? Have you noticed as clear a difference as ArenaNet’s numbers would seem to advertise? Check out the full article and let us know in the comments below!