What the locals lack in conversation they make up for in their number and uptime!

The title came from a poet on reddit. He wrote this gem about the widespread bots in the desolate nullsec in EVE Online. The story is about an obvious botting corp (probably the altcorp of one botter) that has an interesting killboard. Namely, ratting fit Nyx losses in a row, in multiple systems.

The reason is probably the recent graphic changes that broke low-quality screen-reading bots, making the said bots mindlessly keep ratting while being destroyed by a small group. The thread is full of angry players who don’t understand why such obvious bots exist.

It’s without saying that botters bring nothing of value to any game. On the contrary, they often RMT, which takes money from the pocket of the company: they could sell the same currency in the item shop themselves.

For CCP, bots serve another purpose than lining the pockets of corrupted devs which contribute to their existence defying multiple reports: they keep the concurrent user count up. A player who plays an hour every day increases the concurrent user count by 1/24. A 24/7 botter running 64 bots increase it by 64. The community measures EVE health by this number. This is a bad measure, exactly because it’s weighted by those who are online for long times: AFK ratters, AFK cloakers, botters, AFK autopilot freighters and other AFK “players”. Needless to say, an AFK-er who is online 20x more a month than a casual player is neither a better customer for the company, nor a better content provider to the community. It’s pretty obvious that the casual will make more positive impressions in fellow players than a Nyx bot whose only social activity is warping to safety when neutrals enter local (except when bugged, that case it provides fun to other players).

While I’m a huge fan of the “corrupted dev” idea and I’m sure that many large scale botters are devs or paying devs for protection, I seriously doubt if those guys get their bots broken by a patch. This botter – and many like him – are rather benefiting from a broken measure: concurrent user count in a game where AFK “play” is profitable and literal AFK players (who do absolutely nothing) are not disconnected like in most games.

If you set up a measurement and watch that number, that number will grow because you – even implicitly – will make it grow. So it would serve CCP better if they’d hide this number and instead publish the amount of omega and alpha accounts that logged in at least once last month. That would “miraculously” start increasing this metric, because both devs and community would focus on increasing it, instead of increasing time spent online.


PS: pretty Subnautica screenshot. I still “playing” the “game”, but it’s still a toy like Minecraft and not a game you play to win:


Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

11 thoughts on “What the locals lack in conversation they make up for in their number and uptime!”

  1. @Gelvon I haven’t played the game in a while, they included a docking bay for the big ship now? I need to patch it again, but I always end up bored after an hour or two. I used to like it when they had the one machine that you could suck out and create your own terrain features, but because of the single player they got rid of it (it also allowed you to break the game) I even got so bored with it I made this huge broken base that was just pipes as a giant water slide. The thing is I think I would be more exited and happy to play the game if it had more elements of PUBG. For instance, when the main ship blows up, you have to get a suit to go back.. what if the repair was only temporary? Then they cloud blow it up again X 10, and have the radiation so bad that it starts circles like in PUBG… and then funnels you to the end game content. I think that sort of pressure especially on the survival hard mode would be much better.


  2. I’m loving the yellow and blue paint job. That’s tight. I test painted “Deathtrap”, my Seamoth, in a similar scheme, then switched it to yellow and gunmetal grey. Sorta… I still don’t have the grey right. I think I’ll name my Cyclops when I can make one “Killbox.” Heh. I had to make a new Seamoth… and lost my Mk I Pressure Compensator when one of those Leviathons that grab you ship with it’s face by the Aurora attacked me. But I didn’t die! I swam away with the quick use of my sea sled thing.

    But I get the “Funnels you to the end game.” point. If I didn’t read and watch videos about the game on the internet, I would have absolutely no idea what’s going on or what to do about it. Sure, I know there’s alien tech on the loose, what with the weird vents on the sea bed and the Sunbeam. But at the moment, I have no compelling reason to investigate any of that, just leisurely build my base and equipment. Realistically, I might have never found the Vehicle Maintenance Station you need to upgrade the Seamoth after you lose the first one. Hell, there was no way I could have even known you COULD upgrade the Seamoth past the Mk I upgrade level. No way I would have gone there and done that risky ass shit if I didn’t know there was something there I really needed. And I’m playing on “Freedom” mode! By not having proper “Breadcrumbs” in game, they forced people to use the internet to discover this information. Even my knowledge of what the areas are called is from beyond the fourth wall.

    Currently, I’m limited to the Seamoth with a Mk I Pressure Compensator, but I got the Vehicle Maintenance Station now, and can build it up to go deeper. So I’ll do that as I pimp up my base. Really? It stopped being a “survival” game with the need to constantly eat and drink almost immediately. It’s not like there’s a bathroom on my base, or that I’ve taken off my wet suit for months (In game.) And why was I wearing this when the Aurora was hit? There’s no point is asking those questions, as this is just a game.

    I am, however, seriously impressed with how they handle vehicles and the docking thereof. They could TOTALLY make a space game out of this that would be the core of what “Star Citizen” promised but could never deliver because of the sheer over extension of goals.


  3. I still “play” Eve to this day with 5 accounts, four of them AFK cloakies, probably on 75% of the time (I have a spare computer on just for this), and I will continue to do so while I can PLEX these five accounts through skill farming.

    I camp a Null Sec system and neighboring systems I had taken control of at some point in the past, and that have later been taken from me by a large renter alliance, that was not interested to make any deal. There is nothing I can really do to hurt them beside making these systems “dead”.

    I have mostly driven off renters out of them by this persistent cloaky camping, reduced the ADM as much as I can reduce it, and even got an obvious bot banned. I am the only one to “live” in them but I can’t do much in term of playing because of the way the ADM works and how the rules of the game are tilted in favor big cartels and fast projections of capital ships.

    So they will just remain dead systems, where I can occasionally hunt and get a kill in, as I enjoy the hunting part of the game, and continue contributing for 4 or 5 player count in the current broken state of things.


  4. @Smokeman: I’ve never looked up stuff on the internet, I’ve just read the lore items in the Databank part of the PDA. Every time it flashes (when I scan, get message ….) I read it. Most of them are RP, but some are clues on how to continue.

    However I agree that there are no in-game reason to do any of it, I could just AFK in the Safe Shallows forever.


  5. I gave up caring about bots because in EVE, they are on the one side, like stupid NPCs and on the other side, content for gankers.
    It all comes down to a zero-sum game. Bots provide a steady input of in-game resources, if you are a buyer, you like it, if you are a seller, you don’t. Are they really hurting the game? I came to doubt it.
    CCP doesn’t think so as there are a few dozen bots in Jita 4-4 and CCP has not been doing anything to ban these accounts…
    As a lot of people have said, some log into EVE from DT to DT.


  6. Bots are better at playing victim as they won’t quit.

    EA just had news of fixed matchmaking to force wins by giving vastly inferior opponents in a losing streak to prevent players from quitting. But why stop there? You can pretend your bots are real players and give players fake wins they can be happy about without making any real player lose. Giving everyone a high winrate is not impossible that way. After all the only real difference is whether the player thinks he is playing a npc or player.


  7. @Smite: bots only provide content to gankers if they bug. Functioning bots warp off instantly if a ganker enters a system.

    They out-market every honest farmer, so unless you are good in business, you are doomed to P2W, the farming lifestyle is completely unprofitable. I mean $0.1/hour unprofitable.


  8. Why should farming that can be done far better by bots be profitable? EVE marketing “Goebbels” always promoted risk vs ISK myths… A mostly undangerous and tremendously boring activity like mining isn’t really content and even mining missions are rather a reason to scare off new players out of boredom than anything else…
    The only PVE activity in EVE which can be thrilling is doing incursions… When every fleet member is awake and does what he/she should be doing they become boring and repetitive also…

    Rember the times when even poorly fitted drakes could run EVERY lv4 mission?

    Hm… Thrilling pve content in EVE? NOPE! Even lv5 missions do not work correctly…


  9. Playing the auction house is not much different to grinding mobs. The real hurdle is likewise time investment, instead of picking flowers you merely pick up market data and orders wich is why given the opportunity addons were good at automating it almost completly in wow. The only activity where you can beat automation is selling carries in hard content and speculation over changes with patches as in both cases automation can’t follow. Here 20$/hour is possible wich beats even real jobs. Of course that’s only because not everybody can do it.

    For the masses i would prefer a browsergame design wich represents a form of inbuild automation over these attempts to bring their virtual jobs back by banning bots. Paying with massive manhours in a game for virtual ressources serves only to anker players with sunk cost for the benefit of the devs. From a player perspective grinding shouldn’t even exist. It’s just a waste of your limited lifetime.


  10. Well let’s see.

    -CCP buffed the truesec of 0.0 overall
    -Buffed the respawn of havens and sanctums
    -Buffed supercap application to subcaps while decreasing their price
    -Nerfed jump drives so a logged off cyno in bot systems will be useless as you can’t get there anymore
    -Nerfed sov warfare so no need to fight over space anymore.

    Then players wonder why there is proliferation of botting nyxes?


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