Is Botting OK? A Botter Speaks – And A Blogger Responds

Botters – the scourge of the MMO world. Or are they?

We’ve had a fascinating exchange this week, as a self-confessed botter spoke up in defense of his people – and a blogger responded to his attempts to legitimise botting.

First up, the botter – using a throwaway account on Reddit – wrote a lengthy piece on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit. It’s a really interesting read – he details the way botting, commercial gold-farming and so on work, as well as defending fellow botters

“The people in game that are selling you gold are not trying to ruin your experience. They are trying to do their job. They are paid based on meeting a quota.

Gold selling companies aren’t the one hacking your accounts. They are the ones using rather publicly available information to gain access to them. The information can be bought or given to them through their services.

Hackers and botters are not the same breed of people. Botters are looking for more efficient ways to play the game. Hackers are bored and want to see how far they can push things before they get caught.

Botting can ruin economies, but can also bring them to a safer equilibrium. Reducing the amounts of over priced items, and making things affordable for the average player. Or they can drive the price down to the point it’s not profitable for anyone else.”

His discussion of how the industry works, how it interacts with hackers (or rather, crackers) and other shadier types, and what the dangers really are, is fascinating – although of course should be taken with a pinch of salt. But does he succeed in defending his botting?

Clockwork doesn’t think so – and says why in a full-fledged rebuttal piece

” I sympathize for those who are stuck in countries in which this is the only form of reasonable employment they can take on, but that does not legitimize it. I do not per say blame them for that situation, but that does not mean they can be shielded from criticism or disdain. This argument could be used to justify a homeless person squatting, a poor person stealing. I get it, people do what they can to survive, but that does not make the things right. Furthermore, they are in the game I paid for, making it a less fun place. If I came to their country during what leisure time they had, and ruined THEIR activity, would that be alright?

Many jobs come with crappy side-effects that you may not like but can’t avoid. A telemarketer still has to call people and get berated, a banker still has to foreclose on a house and hear insults, repo-men are still threatened when they do their job. Hearing the “don’t mess with them” sounds like a “poor me” argument.”*

It’s an interesting point-counterpoint discussion, and one I expect to continue for a while.

What do you think? Could botting be defensible, or is it just not OK?