Monday, January 24, 2011

Thwarting a macro, part 4: Victory, defeat and apathy

In previous installments I took various steps to make a macro sad. Today is the depressing conclusion of my efforts.

After a week of me afk cloaking 23/7, preventing the bots from making any money, the controller started moving the them around. First they moved them 1 or 2 systems and I followed. Then they started moving together, first swapping out of their tengus somehow (I suspect a new neutral I spotted was a carrier alt) then they were spotted moving down the pipe toward venal in drakes. For several days they were mostly logged off and I figured the controller was waiting for a convenient time to get them set up again.

Shortly thereafter I checked my watch list and found that they were logged in again. Refreshing dotlan's t-k and 7d system data I found that the systems showed bot patterns, and checking them I found that the bots are back -- and so are the giant secure containers. I could go back to afk cloaking them, but there's no money in it. I could possibly stop by and kill the containers whenever I get bored, but the controller will probably get smart eventually and make finding them a challenge... plus it's a waste of time in the first place.

We've learned how to shut down a 0.0 ratting macro, but since we now have conclusive evidence that CCP has no interest in banning macros there's no point treating it like a moral issue any more. Usually the EULA defines a universal moral code within a game, but not enforcing a rule is no different than allowing it in the first place.

In part 5 I will present a method to find bots in your own 0.0 region without even undocking, then automate it to check every 0.0 systems for possible bots.

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