EVE Online has been free-to-play for a few months now, Since the major revamp of Alpha accounts in the Lifeblood and Ascension expansions. Since then though, a new enemy has emerged into the forefront of discussion in the EVE community. Mining and ratting are huge sources of ISK, and the majority of bots as well.
That resurgent scourge of botting is back in the minds of EVE players again, for all the wrong reasons. But in a recent dev blog, CCP have announced intentions to more actively address the deafening concerns of players over the issue of automation in EVE.
CCP have made a change to their botting policy. Your first offense will get you a three day ban. Previously, it was a 30 day ban. The reason for the change is give players caught botting “a painless chance to mend their wicked ways.”
The permanent ban for a second offense remains. So anyone who didn’t learn the lesson from the slap on the wrist will get booted without recourse according to the new policy.
CCP isn’t sitting on their hands waiting for the shift they hope these changes bring either, they banned more than 1,800 accounts in January alone for botting, and will continue swinging the hammer when needed.
As someone who has botted in other MMOs, EVE Online is a goldmine for RMTers and bot developers. The ease at which the game can be automated places it well behind the curve of other popular MMORPGs in terms of security for the player experience.
This isn’t the first time CCP has tried to curb the issue of automation in EVE Online, they previously made changes to explicitly disallow the oft-abused input broadcasting that allowed a single player to control multiple accounts. Although this was long before the introduction of Alpha accounts and the problems with botting they have seemingly thrust into the foreground.
Speaking to PCGamesN, CCP Peligro said, “We’ve been measuring bans for the longest time and we’re not so sure that has any impact, so now we’re trying to measure player sentiment as the true indicator of whether or not we’re doing a good job.”
It will be interesting to see how these changes affect the RMT and botting trends in EVE Online, as these two are intricately linked.