Thursday, August 9, 2012

AFK Ratting Bad, AFK Mining Good?

CCP Screegs, the EVE developer responsible for hunting down and banning bots, caused quite a stir when he released the following statement earlier today:
It has come to our attention recently that there are pilots in New Eden engaging in AFK Complex farming. Specific examples of this include such activities as warping into a particular room in a complex, dropping sentry drones, then going to do your laundry or perhaps watch a 24 hour Lazytown marathon. While this activity does not necessitate the use of a 3rd party program in order to carry it out you ARE generating income in an automated fashion while sleeping which is not being present playing the game. As such our automated systems will continue to detect and institute administrative actions for this activity. We do not find this to be acceptable gameplay.

All accounts which were tagged prior to this notification will be given the benefit of the doubt and a one-time "amnesty", removing the offending marks from the account. Going forward any administrative actions will remain in place. Game Design will also be looking at changing our complex systems so that this is no longer possible in the near future.
I'll table the whole "came to our attention recently" thing, but it's enough to say that the phenomenon of AFK rat farming has gone on for many years and is widely known. Let's focus on Screegs' statement that it's "unacceptable gameplay" to generate income "in an automated fashion" while "not being present playing the game," even if it doesn't require the use of a third-party program.

Incredibly, this statement was made the day after the mining ship changes, which included the biggest buff to AFK mining we've ever seen.

Mackinaws and other ships were given large hitpoint buffs intended to slow down or stop the rampant suicide ganking in highsec. But mackinaws and others also received a huge buff in the form of gigantic ore bays, allowing them to mine continuously for longer periods. In the case of ice mining, where the object being mined does not deplete, the miner can go AFK until his ore bay is full.

The numbers being thrown around are that it takes about 50 minutes to fill up one's ore bay while ice mining in a mackinaw, at which point the ice is simply dragged into an orca, secure container, or whatever. This means the only difference between an AFK miner and a botter is about one mouse-click per hour.

If the only difference between a bot and an AFK miner is one mouse-click per hour, why are bots banned and AFK miners buffed?


  1. What you've just posted is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, idiotic post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who read that post is now dumber for having read it. I hope people stop giving you money, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    1. No... He asks a valid question, and presents data and facts to support his position. I know you're quoting a movie and mad that your barge was blown up at some point, but I won't let that comment stand alone beside this masterful piece of writing which exposes a critical flaw in EVE: part of the reason CODE exists in the first place is that mining is an absolutely brainless activity which incentivizes being AFK, since there's literally no gameplay action to take 99.992% of the time (unless you'd prefer not to get blown up - in which case there's plenty to do. Follow the CODE...)

      If mining involved actual gameplay then far fewer miners would do it while AFK or via botting. See data sites - the gameplay there was improved quite a bit in the past. I'm not sure if there are any bots that can run data sites successfully, but it seems like it would be far more difficult to automate than mining.

      Mining desperately needs a similar treatment--to be turned into a mentally-engaging activity which requires heuristic thought and some degree of reflexes and provides rewards which increase commensurate with the quality and richness of those inputs from the player--but I doubt CCP would change mining gameplay if it meant that many dozens of multi-boxing miners could no longer successfully mine on more than one account at a time, as they would then stop paying or plexing their enormous account clusters and go back to being single or dual account players. It seems to me like multi-boxing carebear miners probably pay a signficant chunk of CCP's bills, so it's not surprising to see them get some special treatment and coddling from CCP when they cry and beg for it nonstop and threaten to quit or commit suicide when someone blows up their ships while they AFK mine, entering in the ballpark of 100 keypresses per hour or less.


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