Why Do People Bot?

2013-08-31

Botters are possibly the most hated demographic in EVE. Despised by everyone not among their number and most of their kin, many people believe all bots should be permanently banned from EVE—and some are. This leads to a most intriguing question: why do people do it in the first place?

One of the most prevalent EVE bot types is the common mining bot. These generic programs can be found operating many of the mining barges and exhumers in EVE’s asteroid and ice belts. An owner of a Mackinaw, who wished to remain anonymous, told me why he botted:

I just can’t be bothered to actually click the buttons. I like watching the ore go into my cargohold, then I like selling it and seeing my wallet get bigger. I don’t have to do anything, which is good because I don’t like playing EVE. The only complaint I have is that it takes too many clicks to download the program in the first place.

When asked what he spent the one billion ISK a month he gains this way, he said he just lets it accumulate in his wallet:

Call me mad, but I just like seeing big numbers amass in my wallet. I only have to spend money when rats destroy my ship, which I blame on both a glitch in the botting software and CCP for not removing rats from high-sec.

Mining bots are not the only automated players that plague EVE. Market bots also heavily impact the game, and individuals are able to accrue tens of billions of ISK at the expense of non-botters. One extremely rich station trader explained why he uses a market bot:

I used to use a mining bot, but I got temporarily banned for doing that. I hadn’t even mined 100 million ISK’s worth of ore in my Navy Apocalypse, which was when it hit me: I’m making fuck all doing this. So I did some research and found I could do more with the market than sell ore on it. I decided it would be far too difficult to actually station trade myself; clicking a few buttons to update a sell order looked a bit complicated. Fortunately, the bot does everything for me!

Even null-sec is not safe from this scourge. Ratting bots can often be seen in low truesec, low-traffic systems, destroying NPCs in anomalies while being nearly invulnerable to attack thanks to their ability to automatically dock up whenever a red enters the system. Compared to mining or station trading, ratting almost seems like a fun activity, so why would people want to automate it? An experienced Tengu botter told me it was for protection:

I often play EVE while I’m drunk, which can be quite a dangerous thing to do when you’re in null-sec. Sometimes I can’t react quickly enough when a red comes in local, I misclick and warp to a gate, I misclick and eject; loads of stuff could go wrong. It’s a lot safer to use a bot.

Mission running bots have seen a decrease in popularity due to inflation and the introduction of incursions. Nonetheless, many people still use them. A mission runner informed me:

I’ve been scared of undocking with me controlling the ship ever since I lost my four billion ISK Navy Raven. I thought the warp stabilisers I had would help me get away, but they used overpowered ‘tier 3 battledestroyers.’ I can’t handle that kind of adrenaline shock so I let my bot do all my missions. It seems to be a lot more competent at flying than me so it works pretty well.

No matter how much CCP takes pity on them or how amusing the botters’ justifications are, CCP will continue to hunt down and ban bots. An anonymous CCP employee noted, “It’s pretty funny when they send an email to CCP Hellmar challenging him to ‘1v1 me in irl.’” CCP have been doing an excellent job at keeping bot numbers down despite the increasing number of stupid people in EVE.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Tubrug1.

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