In today's post, I'd like to focus on another very important provision of the Code, popularly known as the "appearance of botting" provision. And it goes a little something like this:
Miners should strive not only to avoid botting, but to avoid even the appearance of botting.Miners (and other PvE'ers, as we know it applies to them, too) sometimes ask: "Why do I need to avoid even the appearance of botting? Isn't it enough that I don't bot?" Actually, there are a lot of reasons why this provision is in the Code, and yes, it's vitally important that a carebear avoids both botting and the appearance of botting.
For starters, let's talk about practicalities. If you know that there's a host of armed, deadly, elite PvP'ing Agents descending upon the asteroid belts shooting all the bots and bot-aspirants... Isn't it a good idea not to look like a bot? There are negative consequences to making it appear as though you're a bot, and a Gallant would want to avoid those consequences.
To put it another way, it's a bad idea to give off the appearance of being a child molester, even if you technically avoid the crime of child molestation. It's the exact same thing with botting.
Another good reason to avoid even the appearance of botting is that it shows deference and courtesy to our Agents. Remember, the Agents of the New Order have made it their mission to root out the botters and expunge them from highsec. If you look a little bot-like, they'll need to investigate you, and that slows down the process of transforming highsec into a bot-free paradise.
As I first wrote many years ago, when miners look and act like bots, it makes it easier for the actual bots to hide among them. That's one of the many poisonous attributes of bot-aspirancy, in fact. As the conversation about bot-aspirancy implies, there's a gray area between bot-aspirancy and botting, and one tends to lead to the other. There's a similar problem with PvE'ers who give off the appearance of being bots: They tend to become more and more bot-aspirant. The bot-aspirancy creeps up on them--subtly at first, and then fatally.
That's another dangerous feature of bot-aspirancy: Where do you draw the line? Luckily, it's not up to a miner or a mission-runner or a hauler or some other PvE'er to decide. By the time they realize they might have a problem with bot-aspirancy, they've become corrupted. It's up to the Agents of the New Order to decide whether someone is behaving in a bot-aspirant manner or a manner that gives off the appearance of botting. Worried about an Agent being too tough on you? Then don't get near the line. Stay as far away from it as you can.
This brings me to one of the most common complaints we receive from recently deceased carebears: "I wasn't botting!" It's amazing how righteously indignant a carebear can get when "falsely" accused of botting. As if they're some kind of saint just because they resisted the temptation to download a bot program.
Here's the thing. If an Agent of the New Order accuses you of botting or potentially botting, you're already guilty. Maybe you're not guilty of botting, but you're certainly guilty of giving off the appearance of botting--otherwise the Agent wouldn't have accused you. Either way, you violated a provision of the Code. You're like the guy who's offended by being accused of murdering a school bus full of children because he actually murdered a classroom full of children instead.
I know that there are going to be some carebears out there who, even after reading all of this, will still have some misgivings about this provision of the Code. If you're worried about the rule being too easy to break, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe you'll decide to pursue some other career in EVE, one which doesn't run the risk of making you look like a bot. For example, maybe you'll become a full-time PvP'er, or even an elite PvP'er like one of our Agents (no bots have ever been designed for suicide ganking). In that case, you'll be much happier with EVE as a game and with yourself as a person. The CODE always wins. Always!