Jagex takes the aphorism ‘Justice must be seen to be done’ to its logical conclusion with its treatment of Runescape cheats. Kayla Bourque reports
Since gaming has moved to the vast avenues of the internet, cyber pirates have found ways to break and bend the rules to their favour. Legitimate players have traversed massive MMOs or competed in harrowing tournaments with only the skill they brought in while others hacked, cheated, and botted their way to unfair advantage. Every online gaming community has their ways of dealing with the miscreants but they’re a persistent breed. What they risk in most situations is being permanently banned from the game.
In the console-verse, specifically Xbox, Microsoft will ban the player and the console and any console that player rode in on (if Microsoft has reasonable proof they used the past console for cheating). Still, most players will protest that the speed and efficiency Microsoft handles these scamps is somewhat non-existent. Franchises like Call of Duty and Halo are known to be ripe with unchecked cheaters. Microsoft, in a way, has put much of the onus on legitimate players and seems to have more of a reactionary response than a preventive one. For instance, players can report cheaters or, at the very least, bring down their online reputation but that’s little consolation when a cheater is left to roam all free and cheaty.
Other companies, like Blizzard and its massive MMO World of Warcraft, have enacted questionable anti-cheating software like Warden. Integrated into most Blizzard games, Warden has stirred up some players uneasiness with its spyware-like nature. By invading a player’s computer activity and relaying that information through its filters, Warden can identify whether a player is botting.
Botting in large MMOs is as bad as an Egyptian-age locust plague. A little privacy invasion may be the only way to deal with the rampant problem.
I mean, really, there are full-on sites that the savvy hacker can log-on to and read up on the necessary codes for any bots. Bots for everything from tricking the game into not logging you out for being AFK (that is, away from keyboard – WoW users are well aware of this one and its high-frequency in battlegrounds) to level-boosting bots to bots that make the offending player even more invisible to security programs. Hackers have a handle on the games they’re manipulating, creating headaches for everyone else.
You would think that those involved with sifting through player reports and security protocols must hate sitting down to deal with it all.
The team over at Jagex, however, has devised a light-hearted way to deal with the botters clogging up the realms of Runescape.
As botters bot away the new program will seek them out and very publicly point them out to surrounding players with a dragon claw from the skies. The botters will be given a fair amount of warning, and should they persist, that Skydragon will snatch them up and take them to Botany Bay!
Jagex warns, “Unrepentant and persistent bot-users will now find themselves banished to Botany Bay. This foreboding island is the staging ground for trials run by the Botfinder General, where there’s only one verdict and justice is swift and uncompromising.”
Unlike any other security program, botters will be made known to the average player and be destroyed by them. Any player can be transported to Botany Bay and view the trial. They can pass their vote on how the offender should be dealt with – options ranging from being smushed, being nom’d, or being eviscerated – and they can even throw a few rotten tomatoes for good measure. At the official level, the botter will be permanently banned from the game to much rejoicing from justice hungry onlookers.
To further get players involved in the trials Jagex offers the Pitchfork of Vigilantism, a few new emotes, and after seven trials, the Pitchfork of Justice.
Mmm, delicious Justice.
Follow Kayla on Twitter: @TiltinAtWindmil