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  1. #1
    Player VoiceMemo's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    523
    Character
    Voicememo
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BRD Lv 99

    Many people cheating, automated bot to farm drops to synth spheres for Escutcheon

    SE there are so many cheaters on Asura using automated programs to farm mobs that drop items that are used to synth into elemental spheres for Escutcheon 4th stage.

    I have called GM's and submitted reports to the Special Task Force yet they are still around. What is the point of the game when cheaters can run rampant and not be banned for clearly violating the terms of service.

    I have played for over 12 years now and I'm farming the items and crafting the spheres myself.

    It just makes me wonder why I still play when I'm doing it the way it was intended(NOT cheating), yet those that cheat can get away with it.

    Please give GM's the mandate for when they are called they will go to witness the cheaters in action, or perhaps a whitelist of people that call GM's that have a good track record of reporting cheaters, this would reduce the call volume that GM's would have to go though.
    (9)

  2. #2
    Player Nyarlko's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    1,482
    Character
    Nyarlko
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BST Lv 99
    What kind of "cheating" have you seen/reported? Because, it's pretty difficult to get proof of a player cheating as a player. We don't have access to any of the server-side data, so it's actually possible for something that looks fishy to us to be perfectly legit behavior by another flesh/blood human player, frequently due to lag issues. Now, certain things are pretty easy to spot and should be easy to verify serverside, like movement speed hacking. If a player on foot is keeping up with me while I'm mounted, well, not too many ways to explain that... <,<;;

    Other things may feel unfair, but are perfectly "legal" and easily done legitly, like multiboxing. I'm pretty sure that repetitive behaviors while farming don't really count otherwise we'd all be guilty of it when we follow farming loops. Heck, I know that I probably look pretty darn robotic when I'm farming after I've taken my pain meds, (since I have been reported and talked to GMs in other games before for it lol) but even when I'm mentally afk, it's still my fingers hitting the buttons on the keyboard. How do you prove otherwise, as a player, that those that you've reported are not just on mental autopilot? Because of that sort of thing, the GMs and STF would probably have to spend some time researching into what is going on before anything can happen. We don't want (and can't really afford) too many false bans at this point in the game after all.

    I say all of this as someone who's approaching that stage for one of my shields myself. Which means that soon, I too will dealing with the exact same frustrating idjits that you are, and am not defending anyone for any reasons beyond on principle. The thing is, even if someone acts like a jerk, just because someone is competing against me for farming targets does not automatically make them a "cheater" or "botter", just a "jerk".

    Something else to keep in mind is that they said in a JPside devpost last week that they are looking at adjusting pop/drop rates for mobs/items related to Escutcheons to ease the pain a bit and flatten out the difficulty level across all the elements. And that this will probably take a while, so please be patient. :x Whenever they are already working on something, frequently, related complaints don't get addressed until they are done with what they are working on. I will join you in the freakout later if needed if nothing gets actually fixed.

    tl;dr: Be patient. They are already working on fixing stuff.

    EDIT: As an alternative/additional solution, how about steadily increasing the pool of items that can be desynthed for spheres? I'm pretty sure that no one would complain if they ADDED Abyssea pop items to the list of items for instance. That'd be somewhere around 100+ potentially used items right there, no?
    (0)
    Last edited by Nyarlko; 02-06-2018 at 02:56 PM.
    “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  3. #3
    Player VoiceMemo's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    523
    Character
    Voicememo
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BRD Lv 99
    When you see a player running same routes constantly, only going to kill mob, if mob was out of the way instead of continuing where mob was killed they go back to the route they where they left and proceed along the route again. This is clear indication of automation. Or are you saying legit players would go back to where they left and continue.

    No HUMAN player runs the same paths EXACTLY, this is automation.
    (5)
    Last edited by VoiceMemo; 02-06-2018 at 04:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Player Justuas's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    102
    Character
    Justuas
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    WAR Lv 99
    Se usually bans players in waves. Their time will come (hopefully).
    (2)

  5. #5
    Player Nyarlko's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    1,482
    Character
    Nyarlko
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BST Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by VoiceMemo View Post
    When you see a player running same routes constantly, only going to kill mob, if mob was out of the way instead of continuing where mob was killed they go back to the route they where they left and proceed along the route again. This is clear indication of automation. Or are you saying legit players would go back to where they left and continue.

    No HUMAN player runs the same paths EXACTLY, this is automation.
    Using WoW as an example, I have personally managed to perform at ~90% my best while suffering from ~1100ms lag for about a month when there were some issues w/ my ISP.. That means it took a bit more than a full second for my input to register, but I was still able to perform well in spite of this. I could do so because I had memorized the raid's placement of trash mobs, boss encounters and the routes to get to them, and was w/in normal operating error of margin as far as movement/timing went. Yes, that means I was basically just hitting buttons at certain times w/ little to no accurate feedback from the game itself, and still managed to act within ~100ms variance even during boss fights. This little story of mine serves as evidence that it IS possible to play a much twitchier game in a rather robotic manner successfully, so it should be far from impossible to play by button timing+sound rather than sight alone in a slow-paced game like FFXI as well.

    While what you are seeing may seem suspect, there's nothing that actually prevents legit players from doing the same behavior, so it's not absolute proof of wrongdoing unfortunately. I wholeheartedly believe in "Innocent until proven guilty," so I am against witch hunts by default. ^^;; Like I said earlier though, I'm working on the last stage myself now, so I'll be seeing the same folks you are. If I agree that they look suspicious, then I'll report them too. The devside are the ones who will make the actual decision in the matter of guilt though, not me. I am not against rule enforcement in general, only unreasonable enforcement.

    Personally, I'm hoping they simply expand the potential item pool and maybe increase success rate. Right now, there are very few sources of a very limited pool of items per element, which makes competition a lot worse than it really has to be. Especially since we are all going to be stuck in this farming grind for a very, very long time... Expanding the viable items in the pool would spread us out over more of the world at least. Would it really be that much of a bad thing if they were even 50% success rate desynths? :/

    Best thing to do is file your reports, and continue doing so whenever you see it happening. They'll get around to dealing with the problem eventually on their own. Just give them time to figure out how to fix the system itself first before dealing with those breaking it.
    (0)
    Last edited by Nyarlko; 02-07-2018 at 05:46 AM.
    “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  6. #6
    Player Dzspdref's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    215
    Character
    Danallen
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    PUP Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by VoiceMemo View Post
    SE there are so many cheaters on Asura using automated programs to farm mobs that drop items that are used to synth into elemental spheres for Escutcheon 4th stage.

    I have called GM's and submitted reports to the Special Task Force yet they are still around. What is the point of the game when cheaters can run rampant and not be banned for clearly violating the terms of service.

    I have played for over 12 years now and I'm farming the items and crafting the spheres myself.

    It just makes me wonder why I still play when I'm doing it the way it was intended(NOT cheating), yet those that cheat can get away with it.

    Please give GM's the mandate for when they are called they will go to witness the cheaters in action, or perhaps a whitelist of people that call GM's that have a good track record of reporting cheaters, this would reduce the call volume that GM's would have to go though.
    I am wholeheartedly agreeing with you. I can actually go into Palborough Mines regularly and find a few people that are dual-boxing; one is real person, other is their 2nd account running a regular repeating pattern over & over in EXACT same motions, literally to near pixel by pixel, exact same run routes, exact same attack patterns. I've actually done /follow on it, aggro'ed the quadavs just before he could, and the 'bot would run off to next, constantly. I did this for near 15 minutes, and the 'bot didn't seem phased one bit and it kept on going and going like an Energizer Bunny. I have been farming all my own spheres too and working on it my own, but the 'bots are killing it for us that are legitimately farming.
    .
    My response would be to make the spheres non-sellable, non-tradeable. Inter-characters on same account (mules) I can approve of as ok. Make them /ex. Either you use them or lose them, no more of this sell for gil and deprive others of it. Farm them, use them, make the shield, make the items from shield help, earn gil THAT way, not by making others fight over claiming mobs for these mats.
    .
    There is one dual-boxing player I know that is legitimate; she is farming them for her own shield process and using one to kill and one to make spheres, but the other 3+ pairs (probably more) are just killing it for rest of us.
    (2)

  7. #7
    Player Nyarlko's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    Character
    Nyarlko
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BST Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Dzspdref View Post
    There is one dual-boxing player I know that is legitimate; she is farming them for her own shield process and using one to kill and one to make spheres, but the other 3+ pairs (probably more) are just killing it for rest of us.
    I think I know the legit player you are talking about, and I plan on using the same tactic myself. ^^
    ...For years and years, until the servers go down, most likely, since after my Leathercrafter, I still have characters with GS/WW/BC/CC to do, and still have to start on the crafts. /cry

    I think the big problem in what you said here is that there are 4+ "groups" farming an old-school zone like Palborough Mines when the repops are ~10min I think? That much competition is going to be brutal no matter what, bot wars or no. >.< I believe this aspect is what the devs are already planning to address, though we don't have any specifics or timeframe yet.

    Yes, the pixel-perfects smell fishy as week old sushi. They should be reported. It should be a simple matter for a GM to test them for automation as well. I'm pretty sure that JPside folks have been complaining about the same issue as well, and it's likely on the schedule for after the proposed adjustments to droprates/poprates.
    (0)
    “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  8. #8
    Player VoiceMemo's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    523
    Character
    Voicememo
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BRD Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Nyarlko View Post
    I could do so because I had memorized the raid's placement of trash mobs, boss encounters and the routes to get to them, and was w/in normal operating error of margin as far as movement/timing went. Yes, that means I was basically just hitting buttons at certain times w/ little to no accurate feedback from the game itself, and still managed to act within ~100ms variance even during boss fights.
    This example is not the same, I'm talking about running the exact same pathways over and over, can you do that? and for HOURS on end, constantly, no breaks at all. The part that is most evident of automation is the fact when they leave the path to kill a mob, after the mob is dead they go back to the EXACT same spot where they left the path to continue on the path, instead of killing it then running forward(which is less distance).

    I don't know ANY human player that does this, it's about the shortest route to each mob. If you know otherwise pls point me to a human player that does this kind of movement.
    (4)

  9. #9
    Player Nyarlko's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    1,482
    Character
    Nyarlko
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BST Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by VoiceMemo View Post
    This example is not the same, I'm talking about running the exact same pathways over and over, can you do that? and for HOURS on end, constantly, no breaks at all. The part that is most evident of automation is the fact when they leave the path to kill a mob, after the mob is dead they go back to the EXACT same spot where they left the path to continue on the path, instead of killing it then running forward(which is less distance).

    I don't know ANY human player that does this, it's about the shortest route to each mob. If you know otherwise pls point me to a human player that does this kind of movement.
    I could, and I did. I was in "progression raiding" for ~3-5hrs per night (no breaks for 3hr shifts orz), and had those 'net problems for over a full month while the cable company tried to get out of paying to replace failing hardware in the neighborhood. Even with miserable 1100ms+ lag, I was still able to maintain my DPS rotations at close to my maximum and my positioning was w/in ~1 walking step for movement and combat whenever I was able to check to verify it. (Admittedly, WoW has actual sanctioned addon functionality, and all of that sort of data is exposed for all players to have free access to and free reign as to how to use it, and we don't have that sort of access in FFXI.) BUT! I was doing the actual controlling by keeping time in my head for the most part, I'm absolutely nowhere near "the best" out there, and WoW is a far twitchier system where ms matter, so I know that machine-like precision is humanly possible.

    Just because something doesn't make sense, does not mean that it's impossible. Simple example: Do you know for a fact that those you are accusing do not have acute OCD? (If you'd ever worked with a psych ward, then you would know that there are actual flesh and blood people who act similarly to what you are describing. It would take a LOT to go beyond what I believe a person would be willing to do.) If you can't factually say "yes", then that right there is a valid and viable explanation for the behavior, which means it would take actual work beyond the scope of what players can perform to prove much of anything otherwise. Now, is it likely that Palborough Mines is filled to the brim with OCD sufferers who can't handle not going back to an invisible line before continuing forward? Highly improbable, and I'm not saying that it is otherwise, but I don't believe that odd behavior alone is covered as a bannable offense in the TOS, so further research/proof from the staff will be needed.

    Report away when you see something suspicious. That is what we are supposed to do. I'll probably do the same if I see something similar. After that, it's supposed to be in the hands of the GM/STF staff. It does sound to me like it appears to be automated, and I sincerely hope that GMs are already looking into your reports. However, I don't think that it is going to be very productive to demand action from the staff in a largely ignored/unstaffed discussion forum for players at a time when the dev-team is already working on the very system that is being cheated..
    (0)
    “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  10. #10
    Player Jile's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    387
    Character
    Jile
    World
    Phoenix
    Main Class
    BST Lv 99
    The bot's that are being spoken of do this for 24hrs/day every single day non stop...weeks...months.... You go to sleep. Human's sleep or go on 5 hour farming binges.. heck years ago I used to FC for 20hrs straight for friends....

    I miss the days SE had botters in Mordion Gaol minutes after reporting them.
    (4)
    Last edited by Jile; 02-07-2018 at 05:35 PM.

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