I try not to touch on the subject of bots too much these days. It’s such a hot button for the community at the moment that I might spontaneously combust if I try. That’s why I’d rather talk, not about bots themselves, but about why I really don’t care about them anymore.
Six months ago, I hated bots. Most people shared my hatred for bots and there was a fair agreement that botting was bad and that Jagex needed to do more to stop them. Then along came Free Trade once more in February this year. I knew that it was a bad idea; I knew there would be problems either in the short or long term from this. The first few days of Free Trade were truly hilarious as hundreds of accounts which had been used for botting were hacked. “Haha! Serves them right!” We all said and smiled to each other. The first week was a hopeful time. Maybe bots wouldn’t take over Gielinor once more--maybe this really would become the new golden age. We have our Free Trade, our Wilderness, and now botters are destroying themselves. Everything might work out! How naive of us it was to think that.
Runescape has now become a true botter’s world. Now, not only are bots everywhere, messing with the economy, invading every training spot, but it seems like Jagex is doing nothing to stop them. We were promised some sort of magical, all-powerful, unavoidable bot-detection system that would take down botters by the thousands. That still hasn’t turned up and most of us are left wondering if Jagex even cares.
But really, why should they? As long as it’s not being done with credit card fraud--which is what brought Jagex financially to its knees before--is it really worth it to them to rid their game of all the botters? Think of how many botters you see on a daily basis in all corners of RuneScape and then imagine the revenue that Jagex receives each month from botting members. Once again I’m forced to conclude that Jagex is after the money.
I hate having to say it, because in the past I was one of the biggest defenders of Jagex you could find, but the evidence is before my eyes: Jagex just isn’t doing enough. So they have their ‘bot busting’ thing--which is a step in the right direction--but beating bots, to me, is like running a grueling twenty six mile marathon and Jagex is taking it one slow step at a time. At this rate, Jagex will never finish the race. Combating botting requires a constant, sustained effort on Jagex’s part. There is simply not enough being done, not enough visible action by Jagex. We need a real crackdown on bots.
Do not mistake me for a bot apologist. Bots annoy me, they truly do. I see them as cheaters, nothing more. Of course I understand why they do it, just like I understand why people might shoplift. You might think that saving up money for that special item you really want is what makes it all the more enjoyable, but that is rarely going to be the case. Most botters don’t care about the journey; they just want to get to the destination. Runescape involves so much grind that some people simply refuse to ‘waste time’ doing it. I understand that, but it doesn’t make it right. It’s not following the rules.
Yet, if Jagex won’t enforce their own rules, why should I waste my time defending them? Why should I go out of my way to argue against botters? If Jagex doesn’t care, why should I? That’s the question I’m left asking myself all too often. I worry about the future of this game, what bots are going to do to it, but to be honest – I’m beyond caring. I’ll play how I want and if bots get in my way, only then might I consider caring.