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.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.
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.
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?