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  1. #1

    How do you know if you are seeing a macro or not?

    I'm seeing a lot more discussion about reporting macroers as cheaters and this is going to lead to people being falsely reported, and hundreds of players crying wolf and blaming macros for everything negative that happens to them.

    For example, how do you know if someone who is doing a simple routine such as RUN, JUMP, FORAGE, HIDE over and over again is a player running a macro program, or if they are just sitting there at the keyboard grinding?

    In that question lies the method for attempting to detect macroers, and also the way for smart macroers to defeat detection. Programmers and tech savvy players already know the answer to this, and they know why macroing can't really be defeated through simple client/server checks. The best thing you can do is MINIMIZE the reasons people would want to macro in the first place.

    The real problem behind macros is THE GAME itself. If your game has elements that are grindy, repetitive, and boring, people will want to macro them. If you make it so your systems, such as crafting, have an element of variable interaction to them, not only will macroing be difficult or nearly impossible, but players won't want to macro as much. If they don't feel like a key smashing monkey while playing your game, macroing won't enter most people's minds.

    If an exploit impacts the economy, then it hurts the game. People who macro just to level faster aren't really doing any damage to the game. They are simply getting there faster than other players, and really the same thing can be said about people who have 8+ hours of game time each day when compared to casual players. If you have a gameplay system that can impact the economy, and can also be automated via macro, then you have what amounts to a game-breaking bug in your game software. Blame the players all you want, but that will not fix the problem.

    There are other ways to reduce outside macro use besides making the game more interactive in general as well. One example is putting a macro system right into the game that allows players to script gameplay elements that will not give them some kind of economic advantage. Star Wars Galaxies had a nice little built-in macro system that people used for all kinds of things, and none of them were considered cheats. An example would be a macro that switches all of your inventory over from one set of armor to another at the click of a button. Incidentally, having a built in macro-system had the effect of defining what was legal macroing and what wasn't.

    Yet another way games have slowed the use of macroing is by having GUI scripting features such as the LUA standard that WoW and other games use, so that players can create, download and install "legal" modifications to the User Interface which customize their game play experience.

    No matter what anyone thinks about macros, the main question that should be asked when trying to defeat them is WHY a player wants to macro in the first place. There will always be a small percentage of the population that will do this type of thing. However, if macroing becomes so common that average players are doing it, then the game is the problem, not the players.

  2. #2
    good post.

    macro mandate occurs when the delta between default skill and max skill is too large. In an environment where a 'normal' non macro player has no chance against a macro player, expect the norm to be macro.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    www.theburninghorde.com

  3. #3
    I feel like Xsyon has already done a lot to combat macro'ing.

    Not from macro detection, but reducing the need to macro.

    That is, there's is not a ton to gain from macroing (50 more fishing skill isn't going to win a fight) and there is stuff to lose from macro'ing (stat loss, hunger, etc).

    Hiding might be the exception, but meh you can't win them all.

    I agree that the main problem with any macro'ing is that then players blame macros for anything bad that happens to them.

  4. #4
    I agree, very fabulous post.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Macroing is not a problem. There may be more fishing macros right now because there is nothing else to do. Start the game, macros are pretty usless. So someone gets maxed on hiding a few days sooner, not a game breaker. This game isn't like other games where ya macro farm gold/loot or honor, or macro magic or weapon skills. You have to play this game to enjot it.

  7. #7
    People use the macros to level up.... if you level up fishing to 100, great! but when you can take those 10XP points you just cheated your way to by Macro/Bot leveling your character, and apply them to axes..... that’s an unfair advantage over a player who didn’t cheat. Then, you use all of those leveling points gained from cheating, and 2 weeks later you have a macro user who has 100 additional points to apply to combat.

    Long story short, this it is not a victimless crime The cheaters exploit the 'small' things and it gives them a huge and unfair advantage against other players.

    That’s my view.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dweetybyrd View Post
    People use the macros to level up.... if you level up fishing to 100, great! but when you can take those 10XP points you just cheated your way to by Macro/Bot leveling your character, and apply them to axes..... that’s an unfair advantage over a player who didn’t cheat. Then, you use all of those leveling points gained from cheating, and 2 weeks later you have a macro user who has 100 additional points to apply to combat.

    Long story short, this it is not a victimless crime The cheaters exploit the 'small' things and it gives them a huge and unfair advantage against other players.

    That’s my view.
    I think you are right, but it's not as bad as it sounds. Eventually you stop getting XP at all from Fishing or Terraforming or whatever... so like the previous guy said, it may give you a slight advantage right out of the gate, that advantage won't last.

  9. #9
    How to tell if someone is using a macro?

    Send then a whisper, if they don't reply report them.

  10. #10
    Having gradual progression of something does not automatically=grindy. The only people that believe such are min/maxers who bring it on themselves. The nature of the whole sandbox genre is about slow meaningful progression, but the problem is people want "max everything now!" so they macro, exploit, and cheat their way to the top and then blame the devs because "it was too hard" instead of playing as it was intended and letting those skills increase as you naturally used them during your play time.

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