Elliot in aion, A BLog

I am so in Aion.

NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside

DISCLAIMER- This is a very old article. I noticed there’s people still linking it as if it’s today’s news all over the place. NCsoft in Korea is currently having massive lawsuits with botters/bot companies.

200,000 concurrent players on; It’s an achievement indeed worthy of praise. A dream of any Korean game development company was made reality by NCsoft’s Aion. Ever since the Lineage series, countless MMOs came and went; all fading away or self-satisfied with 10,000~20,000 concurrent players.

Then came Aion. Although it was received with great enthusiasm to begin with, it sent a shock wave through the entire Korean gaming market. Despite PC cafes’ boycotts, Aion pushed ‘Sudden Attack’ off its long held #1 most played list. Not only that, NCsoft announced that they have reached 200,000 concurrent players on their servers just 5 days after its release. With such force, Aion also received the Korean Game of the Year Award.

TakJin Kim, the CEO of the NCsoft, receiving the award

TakJin Kim, the CEO of the NCsoft, receiving the award

Considering that it was released around the same time as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Aion’s success was purely remarkable. However, what if all this success, including the 200,000 concurrent players, is in danger of falling apart?

InVen received a shocking report from a player in a Legion that achieved the first max level title. He told us that Aion was completely taken over by bots, and that the concurrent player statistic was largely because of the number of bots in the game. He also claimed that NCsoft wasn’t doing anything about the bots, hence my investigation began.

Aion is relentlessly adding new servers to keep up with ever increasing number of players. However, the problem was that new servers were especially more prone to bot infestation, and that it came to the point where regular players found it impossible to lvl up. The most recently added server, 토르, was named the ‘Bot-Utopia’ by its players.

A post by G글래머B비욘세 of 토르 server found at official Aion homepage

I can’t say that it’s only us who are suffering from bot infestation, but I’d have to say that no other server is in such a bad state as ours. The fields are completely taken over by bots. I’m saying this with conviction and without exaggeration. As soon as you leave the town, bots showing up on the sides of the roads. Every place that spawns a monster has a bot standing on it.

I was stunned by this sight. The number of bots almost match the number of monsters in the fields. How could this happen? How are legitimate players supposed to lvl? We can’t do anything but give up. It’s not possible to compete.

Why? Because the botters smartly place characters 3~8 levels above the monsters that spawn. The player that’s at the level of the place cannot outdamage bots 3~8 levels above them. If you try, you just end up helping them kill faster. I have to wonder, is NCsoft even capable to stopping this?

A chat with a player at 토르 server

A chat with a player at 토르 server

90% of the Elyos are bots

lvl30~38 are almost all bots

not just botting, but 90%of them are using hacks too

the amazing thing is that

NCsoft is doing absolutely nothing

The situation has passed far beyond the point of complaints by few players. 토르 server message board is filled with bot complaints and condolence visits by players from other servers. The fact that a lvl 45 came out just two weeks after server was even created just further proves the severity of the situation.

many condolences

many condolences

Why are bots so heavily concentrated on new servers? That’s because there is no character creation restriction on new servers. From the botters’ point of view, old servers with more high lvl players and active economy are actually more attractive.

However, most old servers have character creation restrictions due to their high populations, blocking further botters’ from joining them. Currently, accounts with characters on old servers are being sold for 100,000~200,000 won (about 100~200 dollars) regardless of their level or gear. This is because it’s the botters’ only way of entering the old servers.

The max level gladiator who brought up this issue is from 시엘 server, one of the early servers with creation restriction. He stated that there’s about 20% more new servers than old servers and if you suppose that each server has 5,000 concurrent players, and subtract dual-boxers (people that play 2 characters at the same time) and people who leave their character on shop mode, the actual number of active players are actually far less, meaning NCsof’ts announcement of 200,000 concurrent players was exaggerated.

An interview with the gladiator from 시엘 server

When we’re doing the Lvl 43 Asmodian Unique weapon quest and go over to the Elyos side, I always remind my legion members, “Do not hit characters that are botting.”

Why? It’s quite simple. If you hit a bot, they broadcast such an attack on area chat and since enemy players’ presence interferes with their botting, every bot in the area will swarm to their defense. You’ll definitely get to experience these high lvl areas, where most botters bot in 2s.

It’s really not that hard to identify bots. Bots can stand inside each other on the same spot. It’s definitely distinguishable from a regular player that’s 2-boxing. I tried reporting them but when I see them day after day, I just get the feeling that I’m being ignored. I read people’s posts on how they were banned from the official forums for bringing up these issues there. I’m guessing that’s their solution to the problems — deleting posts.

they stand together on the same spot to wait, go out to kill when a mob spawns, then they go back to their original spot again

they stand together on the same spot to wait, go out to kill when a mob spawns, then they go back to their original spot again

NCsoft recently made announcements that they’ll deal with bots not just in game but in court as well. They also sent warnings to top 12 bot sales sites that they’ll be prosecuted in court if they don’t stop. On Dec 3, NCsoft CEO TakJin Kim even attended the Game Industry Improvement Debate and discussed ways to stop botting with the secretary of culture.

However, many criticized that these appearances are indeed just outer appearances for the camera. While thousands of players are complaining that there are more bots than regular players in the game, only 720 accounts were banned as of Dec 18. It’s been a month and 20 days since open beta began and a month since Aion went retail. Yet, out of 37 servers, the number of accounts banned for botting totals only 3,062.

New Bot reports get posted almost every second (Bot report forum)

New Bot reports get posted almost every second (Bot report forum)

Yet the number of bots catched during half a month = 720

Yet the number of bots caught during half a month = 720

It’s a sharp contrast compared to Blizzard in early days of World of Warcraft, when many hacks and botting programs were running rampant, when Blizzard responded by banning in thousands everyday. If I remember correctly, I remember the new areas lagging immensely due to the thousands of players starting new characters after getting their main characters banned. While the lag was quite unpleasant, Blizzard’s strong actions against hacks worked, and the number of people using them decreased visibly.

It was the same for other Korean MMORPGs. Because bots and Chinese farmers were always leaving their games in ruins, many came up with variety of ways to fight them. For example, Rohan’s cuff system received lots of criticism and left some innocent players victimized, but players were able to see the company’s will to fight the bots.

Right now, Aion has taken up almost no extra measures against bots. While NCsoft is definitely showing a lot of flash in public like no one has ever done before, there’s very little being done in game. Since Aion was designed to target Asian market with high currency value, many predict that these bots and farmers will not go away easily.

Bots and Number of concurrent players, must break their twisted link…

To be honest, the bot issue and the currency trading was there since the beginning of Lineage series. From the company’s point of view, bots, regardless of their illegitimacy, also pay the subscription fee like the regular players and count for concurrent player statistics, so they might have the mindset of  “it’s ok if they are paying”.

However, these bots and active currency trading may seem like a positive for the day, but that will not be long lived. Tomorrow, the game will turn into a ghost town where bots and farmers determine everything. The players who played and loved the game will feel lost and betrayed. It’ll shatter everything in the end.

This is clearly not the road for success. This is quite the opposite of ‘Becoming the top MMORPG company acknowledged by the world gaming community and placing Korea as the leading nation in the MMORPG industry’. I really hope that Aion will realize their priorities, and create a game environment where every player would play happily, and become the true #1 game from Korea.

PS. – We haven’t touched on the endless reports on character imbalances. Let’s see an end to the bots first.

Tower of Bots - bitter player reviews

Auto-aion: Tower of Bots - bitter player reviews


This Article is from (http://aion.inven.co.kr). [See Original Post]

Written by elliot

January 3, 2009 at 8:27 pm

59 Responses

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  1. Thanks for this information. I really hope NCsoft West handles Aion better than Korea is. That’s our only real hope.


    January 3, 2009 at 10:59 pm

  2. I honestly do believe NCWest want to get rid of bots, but throwing GMs at them isn’t the answer. The answer is with the developers in Korea, not the publishers in the west.


    January 3, 2009 at 11:56 pm

  3. The answer is a combination of both. Korea needs to rewrite whatever they think is protecting Aion from bots and hacks, which is perhaps a huge job. NCsoft West needs to throw as much manpower at the problem as possible.

    It can be done, but the question is will they do it? In time?


    January 4, 2009 at 1:47 am

  4. Remind me of L2. Whole game is ruled by farmers, botters, ebayers and cheaters. Ofc you still can “enjoy” the game if you are one of them.
    Well, if Aion going to fail here in west to, i will never play any of NCsoft games in future anymore. And hope that some western company will bring to us some great game. They atleast know how to hande botting/cheating at minimum.


    January 4, 2009 at 4:14 am

  5. Thanks for the player-based insights.


    January 4, 2009 at 4:33 am

  6. WoW and L2 are different story.

    In WoW money is not needed to survive, almost all end-game items are bind on pickup, so you need to get them yourself. Money in WoW just helps with lvling, so actually there is no need for players to buy it from farmers – the needs are low.

    L2 – Adena = power = overenchanted weapons, bsoe, brez, cp pots, etc etc so they are requirements for the end-game players.

    As I my reckon says – Aion will be like WoW, where in end-game money doesn’t matter much. Botters prepare themselves for getting money for peeps that will be lvling soon or the chars for sell.
    Same thing happened when Franz was born. I could say that like 90% of the players were bots and they sold adena for insane prices. Anyway NCSoft did a good job banning bots during first three weeks.

    Anyone this all stuff made me sad, funny all your links/sources don’t work, but I know NCSoft reality and actually it all sounds probable…


    January 4, 2009 at 5:53 am

  7. Thanks for translation. The recent bans show nc soft is not totally asleep with bot fighting, but its not enough. Blizzard bans ten thousands of accounts simultanously when found with 3rd party software.

    Aion is NC Softs little baby, they seem to want to protect it so i think they will figure out what to do soon.


    January 4, 2009 at 8:00 am

  8. …If NC Soft wont learn from earlyer games, i will not accept it and play WoW. Stupid Kiddys are better then Bots in any case!!!!


    January 4, 2009 at 8:42 am

  9. Mark’s comment about doing it “in time” is pretty important I think. If it launches without this problem fixed, people coming from games like Lineage2 will just presume NCSoft hasn’t changed at all. They need to get everything they can behind anti-bot development so when people play this beautiful game for the first time their experience isn’t tainted.

    Please don’t let this beautiful game go down the path of Lineage2 :(


    January 4, 2009 at 9:52 am

  10. I know that if NCSoft create an awesome mmorpg I’ll think twice before even try it.. ppl don’t like to waste their time and in a game ruled by botters and cheaters u know u’r wasting it…


    January 4, 2009 at 11:27 am

  11. Thanks for translating, Elliot!

    Well, this article really shocked me not just a little bit. I really hope for changes not only in ban-measures but also in reprogramming the game and protecting it from hacking.
    Some other guy says stupid kids are better than bots.
    I agree with it =]


    January 4, 2009 at 12:34 pm

  12. //CrapHappens
    I see your point but
    Aion is not like WoW. It places some focus on money. 1st, the gear you can acquire from questing/instancing is limited or have low drop rate. It ends up to where most people are farming Qinas to buy their gear off AH. Crafting masters, needless to say, are making billions right now. There’s several interviews with crafting masters :s I just haven’t bothered with them yet. You also have to pay for Kiosks (mobile Graveyard), HP pots, DP foods, flight time pots, and wings (All of them are extremely crucial for abyss life)

    It’s not as severe as L2 but it’s there.

    As to links don’t working, im not sure what you’re talking about. If Original Link button isn’t working for some reason, just visit http://aion.inven.co.kr/ yourself. It’s the icon in front page that says NC.


    January 4, 2009 at 12:37 pm

  13. Lineage 2 repeats itself in Aion …


    January 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  14. How can you spot a bot? I am just getting started and I cant make heads or tails of who is who….

    Thanks for the info..

    Mike Snow

    January 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm

  15. mmo’s cant be played if you don’t bot, nothing else then botting, like we have to do, to get the levels,gear, juwels and pvp all the way trough.
    Like we do now with L2 on Aria.
    We own the server together with those stupid russians and there is no single clan who can compete us.


    January 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm

  16. //Sweetlu77
    ………What? Have you ever played -anything- besides L2? Because you’re obviously basing everything off of your experience with one game.

    Random Commenter

    January 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

  17. I play Lineage 2.

    It is overrun by Bots and NC does nothing.

    I will never ever buy anything made by these people

    Ernesto Colnago

    January 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm

  18. //Sweetlu77
    This is not true at all.. There are lot mmo’ where use the bot can help u and without it reaching maxlvl is only for farmers/carebears but not all.. u can take for example sotnw… or WAR.. in war using a bot is not only stupid, but is also completely useless.


    January 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm

  19. What the fuck are the bots doing in Aion? The gold selling websites don’t sell gold. They ask you to give them your account so they can farm for you.
    Any answer Elliot? Maybe botting in Aion isn’t efficient enough?


    January 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

  20. //Chob
    They are farming gold. I’m going to be translating one of the interviews with a crafting master. It’ll give you a sense of what Aion economy is like.

    They are buying your account so they can use it to bot, because server with char creation restrictions only allow you to create chars on there if u already have a char on there. They’re buying them so they can get on that server.


    January 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm

  21. I think what he means Elliot is they get on your account and farm gold for you, not buying the account to get on locked servers.

    Random Commenter

    January 5, 2009 at 2:19 am

  22. NCSoft is completely clueless on customer support

    they only know how to make flashy games and promote it like hell… then completely fail to support the game properly

    Their record shows it clearly.
    Auto Assault
    Tabula Rasa

    Both were innovative ideas that had good potential if only they put more thought and effort into updating and modifying the game… but NCsoft’s idea of a good game is $$$+++++ so after *only* a couple months of no profit they’ll just dump the game… like the 2 above…

    Bots seem to be NCSoft’s main target customers… with us normal customers (a minority) being the fools who are basically paying for both bots and ourselves in order to keep the game profitable for NCSoft… well the ebayers and people paying bot programmers are… the legit ones just get by with what the game offers and sometimes get frustrated with the injustice within the game


    January 5, 2009 at 2:32 am

  23. who knew crafting would make $$…. do all of them do so? jeez, ima focus on crafting right when i start playing, lol


    January 5, 2009 at 3:42 am

  24. thx for translation
    its sad, but im not suprised, NC is bot lover


    you play wrong game oh wait, whan you bot you dont play it and you get bored fast


    January 5, 2009 at 4:29 am

  25. Lineage 2 repeats itself in Aion …


    I played Lineage 2 for a very long and it was overrun by bots. I’ve been looking forward to Aion and it’s sad to hear that it’s already facing the same problems as Lineage 2.


    January 5, 2009 at 5:59 am

  26. //Random Commenter

    Come to L2 and we show you how to do it


    January 5, 2009 at 7:59 am

  27. If those sites are asking for your account to farm, its so they can level you or farm for soulbound equipment. :s not gold. They do sell gold. I don’t know what you’re talking about.


    January 5, 2009 at 10:15 am

  28. @Elliot

    They are farming gold? Check all the goldselling websites, none of them is selling Aion Gold.
    One of these websites wants you to give your password so the farmers can farm gold for you with your account. So I guess there is something wrong with botting in Aion… or else they would be selling gold right now.
    The game is infested by bots yea true, but are they efficient enough? Looks like the answer is no.

    And what’s this penalty thingy?



    January 5, 2009 at 10:19 am

  29. @Elliot
    Would you mind to translate the article linkedy by Chob?

    Kind regards and keep up the good work!


    January 5, 2009 at 10:36 am

  30. Korean game currency market is dominated by itemmania.com and itembay.com, second being the biggest. That’s where almost everything is traded. I’m not sure what you’re getting your info from. Give source?

    Yea I saw it. I’ll get to it soon.


    January 5, 2009 at 11:00 am

  31. Thanks for showing everyone Elliot. It makes me sad because i’ve been playing L2 for about 4 years now and i’ve been waiting 3 years for aion to come out.

    Yes it’s true, if you report a bot in L2 the gm’s will do nothing. Why? Simple reason that NCsoft does not pay their gm’s. All the money goes straight into the developers pocket.

    NCsoft does make great games but the way they manage them completely ruins legit players experiance with the game.

    Lineage 2 was a great game up until chronicles 3 came out and the gm’s no longer supported the players and left everyone felling betrayed.

    Although I’m not suprized to see this going on because i’ve known how ncsoft works for a while now, it still makes me sad to see another great game go to bot heaven.


    January 5, 2009 at 11:23 am

  32. btw on a side note, darkfall comes out on the 22nd and has been in development for 8 years now i think. Looks like thats where i’m going. I was weighing the options if I was going to play aion or darkfall but now it’s clear what the choice is.


    January 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

  33. //Sweetlu77
    What does that have to do with anything?

    Random Commenter

    January 5, 2009 at 11:56 am

  34. I figure people like me are waiting for an epic mmorpg game to come out that will last them for years to come. Darkfall looks promising since it looks like Aion is going to be like L2.

    I’m simply providing a solution for players that is looking for a game to enjoy.


    January 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  35. //Elliot (Sorry to double-comment)
    About the farming gold on your account, I’m just speaking from my personal experience and sites I’ve seen, and several of them do get on your account to farm gold for you. I won’t post any links, of course.

    Random Commenter

    January 5, 2009 at 12:11 pm

  36. NCSoft just recently got the main Lineage 2 bot-makers shut down (finally) and in-game this has had an enormous effect of getting rid of most bots… with a bit of luck, they will do the same thing about Aion and go after the bot-makers.


    January 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

  37. Umm I hate to spoil your fun, but it hasn’t got rid of the bots. Matter of fact I can’t find a single place where I don’t see bots. Nice try though. They came out with the bot report button. But that doesn’t work. I’ve been reporting the same bots down in the catacombs everyday for 2 weeks now. Theyre still there!!!!!


    January 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

  38. @Elliot

    Thanks for the response, I meant images on this site. Somehow they don’t load for me :/ (Entering image address manually works fine, so it’s seems to by issue on my side)


    January 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

  39. Last time i checked l2walker was still there
    There were some rumors when the site was down for some time and some qq’s from those lolbotters @ l2blah but nothing more.
    Really don’t expect anything else.
    All has to do with profit.
    Blizzard doesnt need bot programs to make profit so they sued bot makers and closed them.
    NC,especially with lineage2 which doesnt have a source of new players, they just keep the bots and trying to make the life of nonbotters a bit easier.
    Actually i think that fantasy mmorpg’s are already kinda surfeited so NC is doing what knows better to have profit with Aion.


    January 5, 2009 at 4:10 pm

  40. Gahleon, enjoy Darkfall while it lasts. I have some serious doubts about that game. Hope it makes the 22nd release date too, because I’ve seen no ads for it…or pre-release client downloads…or anything else for that matter. :D


    January 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

  41. […] NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside 200,000 concurrent players on; It’s an achievement indeed worthy of praise. A dream of any Korean game […] […]

    Top Posts « WordPress.com

    January 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm

  42. Thanks bud will de. Yeah they keep pushing the release date, but my friend read that it comes out on the 22nd. I know right now their in the closed beta test so if not the 22nd it will be soon for sure.


    January 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm

  43. Congratulations Elliot on #72 top blog post of the day!

    Random Commenter

    January 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm

  44. @Elliot

    itemmania.com doesn’t exist and itembay.com doesn’t seel Aion gold..I repeat, there is not a single goldseller website that sells Aion gold.


    January 5, 2009 at 11:33 pm

  45. Same story all over again. The worst thing is that you cannot do anything, in l2 atleast you could always claim the spots by pking or training and so on; on Aion you cannot react somehow.
    I’m playing in one of the latest korean-live servers and that guy is not exaggerating a bit, the situation is really that terrible.


    January 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm


    so sad that guy had to pretend to be him to make him look bad in a website…omg its embarrasing!!!!

    FYI he was working at the time these post were made.(no pcs around) now im going to keep laughting at that guy by myself


    January 6, 2009 at 9:47 pm

  47. Too bad this is not L2BLAH so you could actually reply like a sentient being and try not to be the blahidiot#98809


    January 7, 2009 at 4:30 am

  48. //L2AriaPlayer

    i guess u sound butthurt to me.


    January 7, 2009 at 9:15 am

  49. [EDIT]
    The point is, NCSoft doesnt care botters in L2, why should they care it in Aion?

    btw … i post with my real nickname … cant be said the same for you


    January 7, 2009 at 9:21 am

  50. North Korean’s nukes are the only way to deal with em.


    January 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm

  51. @Chob
    I think they don’t sell gold directly just for safety reasons. No deals, no trade logs, no chars giving billions of gold as gift for everyone without visible reasons. You may find such description for example here:

    I play in Aion on old server. Areas [20-35] are overcrowded by bots. Every day it’s hard to find acceptable spot >_<.


    January 8, 2009 at 9:10 am

  52. […] Dunno if this article is acurate but AION KR seems to be bot infested: NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside Read What They Read, See What I See […]

  53. […] Problem is NCSoft is really doing nothing against botters. AION KR is bot infested, just read this article: NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside Read What They Read, See What I See […]

  54. […] Retail is right now BOTTERS heaven, just read this article: NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside Read What They Read, See What I See […]

  55. […] NCSoft is really doing nothing against botters. AION KR is bot infested, just read this article: NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside Read What They Read, See What I See We’ve seen Elliot’s post on the matter, but really unless you’re in the Korean Aion at the […]

  56. […] NCsoft: Anti-Bot on the outside, Bot-Utopia on the inside Read What They Read, See What I See Che differenza tra questi fatti e le parole dei PR/Fanboy Doveva essere un gioco non "koreano". 90% of the Elyos are bots lvl30~38 are almost all bots not just botting, but 90%of them are using hacks too the amazing thing is that NCsoft is doing absolutely nothing " Difficile sostenere che certe cose siano fantasie inventate da fanboy di altri MMOG xch spaventati da chiss quali timori. Queste sono affermazioni di player veri, cio quelli che ci giocano. In Aion sono comparse delle innovazioni strabilianti infatti normalmente quando si attacca un bot questo spesso non reagisce e alla peggio va in autoattack. Quelli di Aion invece sono diversi, visto che si parla di quasi 1 bot per ogni mob quando se ne attacca 1 tutti quelli vicini reagiscono e si aiutano… __________________ Uccidere un nemico non certo soddisfacente come vederne uno soffrire […]

  57. Pathetic that NCsoft didn’t learn anything from past bot-infested games like Lineage2. They say they’ll fight botters legally, but what can they do against farmers that live in China? Nothing.

    If I were told ncsoft receives part of the gold selling and powerleveling earnings, I wouldn’t be surprised.


    January 14, 2009 at 2:03 am

  58. I’ve been playing kr retail since beta in my 4x’s now. Yea I see alot of bots but the bots I see are usually the same handful of bots. The rmt’s have a good market in Aion. Everything is stupid expensive from players and npc. Drop rates are total bs. I’ve gone levels without even finding a white item. Crafting is expensive and beyond difficult (or will cost u 40m if you were to buy the mats) to unlock 400pt (need 400 or dont even bother crafting. There will be more bots as long as the game’s economy works the way it does. Ncsoft needs to fix the game economy leaving less people to turn to rmting gold and there will be less bots.

    Retail player

    January 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

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