Just a couple weeks ago, I was feeling hopeful that Anet had gotten a handle on the rampant botting issues that have been plaguing the game. No more “bot bubbles” of power leveling lowbies in lvl 80 zones, no herds of naked rangers running across every landscape, no more competing with 5-6 bots for every kill to gather resources. Things were looking up. And then…. a few days ago… duhn duhn duhn… a new breed of bot started showing up at every popular farming spot. I first ran into them up at Shattered Ice Floe, where people often come to try and farm some lodestones. There was a crew of five bots there farming non stop. Annoying yes, but in the past you could always run along with them or outrun them to at least get your share of mobs. The NEW bots are much worse than the ones that had been previously banned from this spot. They are all using speed/teleport hacks. They instantly teleport to w/in attack range of a mob, kill it before you can catch up, then blink to the next one. I have seen them teleport to one end of the ice floe way out in front of me, then suddenly they are behind me, halfway to the other side and killing a mob that just that instant spawned. There is no competing with a five-man crew of teleporting bots. As you watch them, they blink in and out of view, so its even hard to target them to report them.
A lot of people just view botting as an annoyance, but as a “veteran” of many past mmos, I can tell you, this is the kind of thing that kills games. They are there to farm items to generate gold they sell online, but that’s not all. They also farm items you and I would, as legit players, farm to sell and get our own game currency, flooding the market with these easily farmed items and driving their prices into the dirt, making it very difficult for you to grind out adequate game currency of your own. At the SAME time, they are getting drops of more desirable items (like rare and exotic gear, and lodestones), and those they put on trading post for HIGHER prices than normal, driving prices up and making the gap between what you can “earn” by your own efforts, and what you want to buy, wider and wider. They are counting on the fact that a significant number of players will become discouraged at how much time they have to grind to buy just one item they want, and will go online to buy their gold. This is the same strategy online gold sellers have used to hijack countless game economies, and without exception, players eventually leave those games because they get sick of competing with botting, speed hacking, teleporting, gold farming crews for every lousy drop.
It will happen to GW2 also, if Anet doesn’t nip this in the bud. I know they are working hard to try and find solutions to this problem. But maybe they should be looking at the root of the problem.. the players that buy gold online. If there were no customers for online game currency, there would be no gold farming bots. I don’t know how players caught in this activity are punished, but they should be banned for life. And anyone who knows someone buying gold online should report that player immediately, guildie or not, before their laziness ruins a perfectly good game for everyone.
For a start, I would love it if Anet could at least ban the crew that’s up at Shattered Ice Floe. It’s just too frustrating to be up there watching Andregon Galreth, Krizell, Hezyraël and Fighting Rare teleport back and forth from mob to mob (there is one more bot with them, but she moves so fast I can’t even get a clear picture of her name to report her).
Please please PLEASE look into this, and to those players who buy gold online… YOU STINK! (I would like to use other language, but that would get me banned.)