Mike Lewis, security coordinator for ArenaNet, has just posted a new blog article on combating the bot issue in Guild Wars 2. The article states that ArenaNet has banned over 34,000 bot accounts in November alone, but they have noticed a decrease in botting reports - in October over 2,000 were reported every hour and now they receive about 20 reports per hour.
Not only does Mike outline the process of removing bots in the game, but he also thanks the community for helping out by reporting suspicious activity in-game. You can read the full article here.
I’d like to briefly outline the steps that we have taken to shut down botting.
Collecting and analyzing data is very important to us at ArenaNet. Data is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal against bots. We’ve gathered massive amounts of information about the habits of both normal players and automated bot players. We contracted a team of data specialists to help us build comprehensive tools that comb through this data and find effective ways to single out and terminate bot accounts. Automating this process has been a major focus of the ArenaNet security team, and we’re now seeing the considerable fruits of this labor.
Another way we identify and combat bots is through manual observation. Our GM staff is equipped to monitor the game around the clock and detect bots from within the game itself. We have a considerable task force assigned to patrolling the world and eliminating bots, as well as helping us continue to improve and refine our automatic detection tools.
Last but not least, we’re in a good position to monitor and investigate bot reports as they arrive from players. Aided by our analysis tools and strengthened by manual investigation as necessary, GMs are able to react quickly and efficiently to bot reports and terminate offending accounts in short order.