Botting, otherwise known as Macroing or Autoing, is where a RuneScape player uses an automated program to play RuneScape for them, and most often to do repetitive tedious tasks such as mining, woodcutting or even killing a certain monster repeatedly.
History of BottingEditInitially, bots were called macros or autos, and were confined to very few tasks which they could not do very efficiently due to poor technology. They were most known for picking Flax or cutting various trees, but went by the colours or shapes of objects rather than the actual thing, which meant they could be confused easily. A notable example is if a player dressed in green clothes and wandered over to Camelot's Flax field, the macros would try to pick them as though they were a piece of flax.
Around this time, most of these accounts were level 3s lacking any stats, and had the default option of a bald man with a brown goatee. It was generally accepted that macros were to be something to laugh at then report - that someone was stupid enough to risk an account/waste their time with one.
During the 2008-2010 period of Un-Free Trade, there were a much smaller amount of bots than there were from 2007 and previous, due to there being no way to transfer the wealth made on the macro accounts to people's mains. People at that point would only really use bots to level skills without much effort, and ban rates were much higher due to there being less bots to catch.
Why do people bot?Edit
People use bots for two main reasons, to train skills without putting the effort in to do it manually, or to repeatedly obtain the same item via gathering or killing monsters for them.
Currently almost every single skill can be botted with the exception of Farming. People thought the Dungeoneering skill would be un-bottable, but that has been proved false, despite the bots being slow and ineffecient.
As noted before Flax and various types of logs are often obtain via botting, however there also existed Fishing and Mining bots, and today there exist a wide range of bots for a large variety of monsters, including but not limited to Green Dragons, Turoths, Blue Dragons, TzHaar, Cockroach Soldiers, Minotaurs, Ankous, Frost Dragons, Black Demons and Hill Giants.
Consequences of bottingEditBotting is strictly against the rules of RuneScape, however being caught botting is not a straight permanent ban. Currently, the first time you are caught you are banned for 2 weeks and the botted character has experience and levels reduced, along with the items in their bank being taken out or reduced in number. It is worth noting that Jagex will not remove any discontinued items this way. Also if a f2p account is caught botting it is immediately permanently banned.
Due to the amount of bots generating such a quantity of items, such items suffer from Supply > Demand and therefore drop in price. Back when bots were limited to gathering or skills, this only affected items like Flax and Lobsters. Nowadays they affect a larger variety of items related to the monsters commonly farmed, and this even includes Infernal Ashes from Black Demons and Obsidian items from TzHaar. A powerful example is the Toktz-Ket-Xil (AKA Obby Shield) which had an all-time high of 345K and is now lower than 30K.People have occasionally argued how bots have benefitted players in certain ways - when the bots migrated over to Frost Dragons, they caused the price to drop from a stable 20K to the current 13K, which makes Prayer training much cheaper. Sharks which were once stable at 1.5K have also dropped to under 500gp on occasion, making using them as food during training more efficient.
However, it is fairly obvious right now that RuneScape is infested with bots, the vast majority of them uncaring of whether it is banned, as they will simply create another. A certain few individuals even make bot farms, which is 10 or more bots running at once. Not only does this cause a lot of damage to the economy, certain areas are now completely unusable due to the amount of bots. This includes many areas such as...
- F2P Mining Guild.
- P2P Taverly Dungeon Black Demons.
- P2P Frost Dragons.
- F2P Yew Trees.
- P2P TzHaar City.
People have generally criticised Jagex regarding how they do not appear to have the ability to quickly eradicate even extremely obvious bots, and with the recent Jiblix issue, some have argued Jagex are unwilling to do so. However, nowadays the technology used to create bots is much more advanced, even to the point where its hard to tell if a certain user is botting. (Which is not the case with most monster killing bots as you can see...) How much longer are the makers and users of bots prepared to use such programs at the sake of the quality of RuneScape?