WildStar – Addons I Use

I’ve seen some others reporting the WildStar addons they are using, so here are mine.

Overall I feel like WildStar addons are going to allow people to do “too much.” I mean, there’s an addon to automate the Simon games. Really Carbine? You put that in your API? I would not be surprised if we see aimbots very soon. But in the meantime:

Active:

AMP Finder. Pretty much mandatory if you want to locate AMPs within a reasonable time frame.

BijiPlates. Nice nameplate replacer that makes them a little less obtrusive. Too many settings though.

CameraSpeed. Yes! An addon that lets you adjust the camera speed down to something normal.

ClassicQuestText. Puts quest text into dialogs and most importantly allows you to set the font so you can actually read them.

CustomFOV. I set mine from the default 50 to 55. Probably not worth the effort, now that I think about it.

LocalTime. I only use this to change the time format from 24 hour to 12 hour heh.

XPS. A nice unobtrusive DPS meter that is a lot better than GalaxyMeter. It has tons of fancy graphs but I’ve turned all of them off.

Uninstalled:

GalaxyMeter. Awful. Just awful. And it’s the most popular one, of course. (I haven’t looked at the newer version yet.)

DeadLockExt. Meh. Too many options for something that doesn’t need any options. (I can’t stand it when addons make every little thing a configurable setting. Make a commitment! Take a stand!)

KeybindFreedom. Lets you bind actions to the left and right mouse buttons, something that cannot be done natively. Loved it, until I read the disclaimer that Carbine might remove this functionality in the future, so I decided to live without it.

Other than the above I haven’t seen very many that I feel the need to try. There’s a lot of “play the game automatically” types of addons out there that I just don’t want (for now, at least).

WildStar – Adventure Difficulty

I thought I would expand a little bit on my experience with the difficulty of group content in WildStar.

But first, I don’t agree with Herding Cats that the overland quests are difficult enough to encourage grouping. They don’t seem inordinately challenging to me, at least through level 16. (Though I suppose it depends on which other MMO you compare them to.) They are not a cakewalk, mind you, and you will die if you slip up or get overwhelmed (or stumble into one of those stupid red-outlined mini-bosses), but if you pay attention to your surroundings and go through the mobs methodically there isn’t much to worry about. (However, the quests that are marked for 2+ people usually are too difficult for one.)

We’ve been told that Dungeons and Raids in WildStar will be harder than anything we’ve ever seen before, and we will fail at them and be laughed at and derided for being terrible gamers. At least that’s the impression Carbine gives, and that’s the image I had in my mind when I went into my first Adventure at level 15: That I would be pounded into the dirt and the group would wipe over and over and over again.

What I actually experienced was … not that difficult.

Granted I am talking about an "Adventure" here, not a "Dungeon" or "Raid." (Presumably an Adventure is slightly more friendly than a "Dungeon," because it’s got adventure right there in the title.) And I would say that it was probably more difficult than the first instances in, say, Rift, FFXIV, and certainly WoW. (The first dungeon in WoW can probably be done with 5 blindfolded keyboarders.)

Still, my very first Adventure PUG waltzed through the instance with little or no difficulty, despite me having no instructions and no clue what to expect and weighing everyone down like a 50-ton anchor. We wiped one time when the tank died. We were being attacked by a huge group of mobs and I was standing there plugging away at enemies when suddenly they all attacked me and I died, at which point I noticed that everyone else had also died. But after rezzing we came back a minute later and had no trouble. Other than that incident, I only saw one other guy die when he didn’t avoid some spotlights or something.

The rest of the instance was just tank and spank: Follow the tank, then shoot whatever he shoots. We never had to coordinate anything. Maybe we had an awesome over-leveled tank or something, but I never felt threatened. (Except for the anxiety I felt from constantly running to catch up with everyone.)

My second PUG went similarly. That one wiped two or three times, though. It’s hard to remember because it only takes a few seconds to get back into things after a wipe. (Which is awesome.) I don’t remember what caused any of those wipes because I was too busy trying to decipher the horrible nameplates to see what everyone else was doing. I just know it wasn’t my fault. :)

It makes me think that Carbine is over-selling the difficulty of their instanced content on purpose. Sort of a reverse-psychology thing. "Our content is so impossible you’ll never finish it! Only the most elite of the elite dare enter!" Most gamers are going to jump on it to prove they are more awesome than anyone else. Then they’ll feel special when they beat the "impossible" content, but in reality the content is just average. Well, it’s a theory.

One thing I noticed in groups is that the mechanics of the holy trinity felt very loose to me. Not the non-existent chaos of GW2, and not quite as frenzied as ESO, but not as well-defined as your Rifts, FFXIVs, or WoWs either. As a DPS, I felt like there were times that I was on my own. It was never clear who the tank was tanking, or even where he was. (It was very easy to track where the Medics were, though, since they throw out green telegraphs and loud beeping yellow balls constantly.)

The worst thing about the Adventures is WildStar’s godawful nameplates. Dead mobs on the ground still have nameplates, so when new mobs spawn in the same place, you can’t see them! Come on! Time to look for a nameplate addon I guess.

Oh, the other bad thing about Adventures is how much experience you get. If you do a handful of Adventures you’ll outlevel your zone in a blink.

On Hardcore Raiding

After I listened to Massively’s latest podcast featuring an interview with WildStar developers, I realized that I hadn’t said anything about Carbine’s hardcore raiding philosophy, which is a topic of some mild controversy.

One of them raid thingys, blatantly stolen from the WildStar site.
One of them raid thingys, blatantly stolen from the WildStar site.

If you aren’t aware, WildStar raids are supposed to be really hard like the old school raids of yore. They are taking the stance that their raids are meant for hardcore guilds and players only, and they won’t be dumbing them down over time like most other games do. Here is their video on them:

In more unflattering terms, so-called "casual" players will be intentionally excluded from raiding in WildStar.

This is a controversial position because historically we know that only a very small percentage of players are actually hardcore enough to complete difficult raids. (I don’t know if there are any studies to quote, but I always imagine it to be around 1% of the players.) It takes a massive amount of work and coordination to get 40 online gamers working together and playing at a high level of competence at the same time. In fact I have never seen that happen. I have only seen 20-man raids in Rift, where most everyone already knew what to do, and really only 10 of those people were doing most of the work, and even those relatively simple raids took hours upon hours to put together and complete. The vast majority of MMO players simply don’t have the time or energy to do that.

It’s why the so-called "zone events" and "world bosses" in games like Rift and GW2 have become so popular. (To me, at least.) Because you can experience something like a raid, with all the fun of working with other people to meet a difficult goal, without any of the time and drudgery of coordinating a guild. All you have to do is show up and fun happens.

In a way, I respect Carbine for taking this stance. I respect them for keeping hard content hard, because there is a certain thrill in defeating difficult challenges that weren’t nerfed to the point that anyone can do them.

But.

None of the raids I’ve seen are challenging because the encounters are difficult. It seems to me that raids are challenging because it’s almost impossible to get a group of competent players to get online and stay focused for long periods of time.* So completing a raid is not necessarily a gameplay challenge, it’s a social engineering challenge. It’s an organizational problem. This is why it drives me crazy when hardcore raiders strut around as if they are the best gamers in the world. All they’ve really done is show up and suffer through a torturously long experience. It’s like they’re gloating because they sat through a six-hour lecture on accounting.

Still, as a player, I could live with Carbine reserving some content for so-called "hardcore" players. I feel like I could get into a raiding guild if I wanted to turn my gaming fun time into an anxiety-laden chore. What baffles me is how Carbine can justify this logic from a business standpoint.

Creating raids has got to take a huge chunk of development time and money, but if we use my entirely made-up figure from before, only 1% of the players will even see it. (Not counting YouTube videos and streams.) And guess what? Those 1% of players will be done with it and bored a couple of weeks after release, writing angry posts on forums demanding the next 40-man raid. How can Carbine possibly sustain that? They would have to ignore 99% of their players in order to keep pumping out new content for the 1%, and that makes no sense whatsoever. (Which is surely why WoW dumbed everything down, and every other game does too.)

I think they might have been onto something when one of the Carbine guys talked about improved guild tools for raiding. I think it would help tremendously to have some sort of in-guild group-finding tool to put together raid teams. Something that would persist across logins. So for example the guild leader could tell the tool that a raid is scheduled for X date, and then guild members could volunteer for spots in the raid throughout the week with just a few mouse clicks. The tool could be configured so that players must meet minimum requirements, or perhaps the raid leaders could override it and stick people into spots manually. Something like that. The tool could even handle the loot distribution during the raid itself, and automatically invite in alternates if someone disconnects during the raid. (Maybe that is exactly what the LFR tool in WoW does.. I’ve never seen it.)

By the way, I was very glad to hear that WildStar will have smaller story instances (I assume like Rift’s Chronicles) so that us "regular folk" can still have a way to see the story that occurs in those huge impossible raids.

* This herding cats phenomenon goes all the way back to my first multiplayer gaming experiences in Quake. I remember when it was almost impossible to get six people together to play in a match, and five was pushing it. Getting forty people together for anything but a chaotic zergy Guild Wars 2 event is mind-boggling to me.

PvE, PvP, and Racing

The topic of discussion from the NBI Talkback is whether or not PvE and PvP mix in MMOPRGs. At long last I have some time to write about it, now that everyone else has moved on.

Racing cars

The answer is no, they don’t mix. Thanks for reading.

But seriously, we’ve all seen the sharp divide between the PvE and PvP communities within any given MMORPG. In my opinion, it’s not because of the games or the players. The problem to me is that PvE and PvP require two entirely different competitive mindsets.

Competition is the basis of all games at some level, but there are different kinds of competition. Sometimes you are competing with yourself, such as when you play solitaire. Sometimes you are competing with other people, individually or in teams, such as when you are bowling or ski jumping. And sometimes you are competing against other people, such as when you play tennis or volleyball.

To further illustrate the different kinds of competition, I will use a weird racing metaphor.

I’m told that there are people in the world who participate in activities that aren’t on computers, so imagine driving cars as a sport. Let us assume that this is analogous to the “sport” of playing MMORPGs.

At the most basic level, you can enjoy the sport of car racing by getting in a car and driving down a road. You enjoy the wind whipping through your hair on a sunny day. You enjoy listening to the radio. You don’t care if someone in a Maserati passes you at the speed of sound. You don’t care if you have to swerve around an old man with his blinkers on. You just like going fast. You’re not competing with anyone. You are a casual PvE player.

As you get more serious about your car racing, you might start to care about how fast you’re going. Maybe you want to try racing on a track. So you go down to the local race track on the weekend and drive 10 laps in your car. You do this every weekend, and start to record how long it takes each time. You start to compare your times from weekend to weekend to see if you’re getting better or worse. You’re competing against yourself. Maybe you put on better tires or replace your carburetor to go faster. You’re still a PvE player, but maybe you’ve installed a DPS meter and you’re trying to play as best you can. I think the unofficial name for you is a “midcore” player.

Now you want to take your racing to the next level. You start to enter some time trials with other drivers. Each driver takes a turn at the track and does their best. In the end, you compare the times and the fastest one is declared the winner and gets a cash prize. You’re technically competing with other people, but you’re not racing with other people. You’re still a PvE player, but now you’re in a hardcore raiding guild and you’re trying to beat all the other guilds to the world firsts.

Finally you decide to enter a real race. Your time trials qualify you for a pole position. (Is that a real thing? I don’t know. :) Now you’re racing against other people on the same track at the same time. Now it doesn’t matter so much how fast you go, just so long as you are ahead of all the other racers at the end. This puts the racers in direct competition against one another. You have to adjust your tactics based on what the other racers are doing in real-time. Now you’ve become a PvP player, albeit of the more casual sort, playing in battlegrounds.

If you’re still not satisfied, you might turn to a demolition derby. Now there are no rules, and anything goes. (Sort of.) Now you’re not only trying to beat the other racers, you’re trying to knock them completely out of the race by smashing their cars to bits so they can’t race again tomorrow. Now you’re a more hardcore PvP player, perhaps playing in world versus world events or structured PvP matches.

But wait, there’s more. After the apocalypse, you still need your demolition derby fix. But now there are no more laws, and nobody to enforce them even if there were any. You attach thick, bullet-proof metal plates to your car and sharp spikes to your hubs. You don’t care about competition anymore, you just want to destroy things. You drive into random neighborhoods and start ramming minivans and mopeds, tossing grenades through windows and blowing vehicles into flaming fragments, shooting at defenseless people walking by on the street. You join a gang and terrorize whole towns together. Now you’ve gone as far as you can in an MMORPG: You’ve gone into open-world, full loot PvP, and you probably play EVE or you think Ultima Online was the greatest MMO ever made.

Hrm. That metaphor works, right? Well, it’s something along those lines.

I don’t mean to say there’s anything wrong with PvE or PvP. The point is that each of those examples is a different kind of competition with different emotional risks and rewards, and they don’t all appeal to the same group of people. That’s why there isn’t just one kind of racing sport in the whole world. There’s a bunch of different ones. I’m assuming. I’m not much into racing.

Yet modern MMORPG games typically try to jam most of those styles of competition into their games, with varying degrees of success. Instead of focusing on one core style of gameplay, they divide their attention across a dozen different styles. Inevitably, something suffers, or the game changes completely when you enter different phases.

For myself, I generally don’t play MMORPGs to compete against other people. I play them to chill out, and competition has the exact opposite effect on me because I must win all the things all the time. Ahem. Honestly I don’t consider PvP in most MMOs to be a legitimate form of competition anyway, because there is almost never a level playing field on which to compete. It’s always a competition of group size. And if you’re unlucky enough to be stuck in an even 1-on-1 matchup, it’s mostly a competition of class stun abilities and gear. (I am coming from a Quake background, where everyone had the same abilities and gear and there was no crowd control except when you hit the floor at someone’s feet with a rocket and bounced them across the room, like God intended.)

Did I have a point? I’m not sure any more. I think it’s this: It takes a certain mindset to play PvP, and it is antithetical to the mindset of the typical PvE player. In my opinion, studios should develop one game for PvE, and another game entirely for PvP.

But then I’m not a game publisher trying to keep players and appease shareholders. From a business perspective, you would want all players in your game no matter how they play. So in that case I would keep them separated as much as possible. I would probably go so far as to have PvE classes separated from PvP classes, and you couldn’t go into PvE zones with a PvP character and vice versa. (Like for example at character creation you could make a “Warlock” class that can only level in PvP, or make a “Wizard” class that can only level in PvE. Something like that.)

Many other great thoughts on this topic can be found in these posts:

Co-existence of PvP and PvE

NBI Talkback, pvp-pve mixing!

Memories of PvP!

To PvP or not PvP, that is the Question

And I’m sure many more that I have missed, sorry!

YouTube Buying Twitch

Google is buying Twitch, apparently. Or YouTube is buying Twitch. Or something. I don’t report news, I just talk about it.

This seems like one of those “surprising but inevitable” plot resolutions that we aspiring authors are always told to strive for. At first you read it and think, “Whoa! Google is buying Twitch! No way!” Then a second later, you think, “Oh, of course Google is buying Twitch. We should have seen that coming a mile away.”

I know nothing about big-money corporate takeovers, but this strikes me as a case of one company buying the brand name of another company. You’ve got to figure that YouTube already knows how to stream video from a technological standpoint. (In fact, you can already stream games to YouTube can’t you? There’s a “YouTube” setting in OBS’s Broadcast Settings, at least.) Google just wants the Twitch name and the Twitch user list. They would probably throw out the entire Twitch back-end and replace it with those Google mega-god-servers or whatever.

Although, from my own personal standpoint, I hope they don’t. Because I have endless trouble playing YouTube videos. I mean, it’s almost a 100% failure rate when I go to the YouTube site itself. I click a video, it plays for 30 seconds, and then it sits there buffering for the next twelve hours, regardless of what I change the resolution to. It’s probably Verizon interfering with the packets, because with great FIOS bandwidth comes great corporate throttling, but whatever the reason, it’s very annoying. I don’t want to see that happen to Twitch. If it does, Pingzapper needs to branch out and support video too.

Blogging The Hardest Way Possible

In honor of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, in this post I’m going to talk about “how” I blog for Endgame Viable. That is, the actual process. I don’t recommend doing it this way. :)

First, I play some games. Usually they are MMORPGs. This typically happens on weeknights and weekends.

After I’m done playing games, the next morning I often go to a place where I can’t play any games, which is a place that rhymes with the surname of a famous Star Trek captain. There, if I have time, I read some blogs and tweets about what else is going on in the gaming world.

By this time I have some ideas of things I want to write about. I might want to make an observation or vent about something that happened in my last play session. I might want to report about something new I did. I might have an opinion about something I read on the Internets. Most of the time, these are not particularly earth-shaking thoughts, and quite possibly not in any way unique or unusual.

I open a plain text editor window and resize it to be fairly small. It usually stays open throughout the day. (At this time, I’m using WriteMonkey, but it doesn’t really matter.) I prefer writing in plain text like this because it’s unobtrusive on the screen and I’m a software developer by trade, so I’m very comfortable using text editors.

I start writing with some topic in mind, possibly with some point I want to make. Most of the time I write a little bit, then I stop and do other things, then write a little bit more, then stop again. Sometimes this happens over the course of a whole day. Sometimes I write a lot more than I need to, and I ramble and get side-tracked on unrelated topics. I try to write in a casual tone that is easy to read, possibly even understandable to people who aren’t gamers, and I usually try to inject some dry humor. I imagine that I’m talking to an audience, and anticipate what kinds of questions that audience might ask about what I’m saying, and answer them in the text. (This whole post is an answer to a completely fabricated question about my blogging process.)

At some point I will stop writing about the topic. Then I’ll read over it a number of times and try to make it better with some editing. This is where most of the grammatical changes happen. There’s usually a fair number of typos and … what’s the word for thinking one word but writing a different one from muscle memory? Interposing? Juxtaposing? Anyway, it’s when I write “you” when I meant “your,” or “the” instead of “then.” I’m also very bad about putting in too many fluff words, so I edit out tons of pointless modifiers like “really” and “kind of” and “sort of” and “mostly” which sometimes work in verbal sentences but don’t translate to writing. (Example: “The gameplay is really kind of awkward.”)

At this point I decide if the post is finished or not. Sometimes I run out of time to write, so the decision is forced upon me. To me, a finished post not only has a completed subject, but also has at least three or four moderate-sized paragraphs. I would say a minimum of around 250 words, but rarely as long as 1000 words unless I have a lot to say. I prefer to have a good ending sentence, but sometimes I just stop as if the post has a cliffhanger.

If I feel like the post is finished, I will then add in some WordPress post-by-email shortcodes for title, category, tags, excerpt, and delay. That last one is the most important: I add a [delay +10 days] tag so that it’s not posted immediately. I then copy and paste the text from WriteMonkey into Google Mail and send it to my WordPress Post-by-email address. The post will then be scheduled to publish ten days later and go into my Posts list. The important thing is that it isn’t posted right away.

If what I’ve written isn’t finished, then I copy and paste it into an email and send it to myself. Most of the time I never look at it again, but occasionally I resurrect them. (This very post was resurrected more than once.)

Once the text is emailed, I delete the text out of the editor document and start again. Sometimes I write one post a day, sometimes I write three or four a day, sometimes I don’t write anything. I usually write more on Mondays and Fridays, because I had more gaming experiences over the weekend, and Fridays are usually very quiet and boring.

As I said above, when I’m writing these drafts, they are 100% plain text with some Markdown formatting. I use the WordPress Jetpack module for Markdown to translate into HTML, but it is finicky and sometimes does weird things. I have major problems with links, for example. The typical Markdown syntax for linking randomly does not work, so sometimes I just paste the link into the text directly, with the intention of going back later and editing the post to fix it up the way it’s supposed to be. This is one reason my posts rarely have many links in them. (Another reason is that it’s too time-consuming to look up web references.)

Sometimes I remember that I took a screenshot to illustrate something I’m writing about. (Screenshots or game visuals will sometimes inspire a post, but not often, because at the time I take the screenshot, I am not thinking about writing.) In that case I put a little note in the text that creatively says “(insert screenshot showing the thing here).” Because I don’t have access to any screenshots at the time I’m writing post drafts, and I’m quite sure that I wouldn’t be able to insert them correctly with Markdown syntax anyway.

After writing many posts and scheduling them by email, I end up with a decent-sized list of future posts collected on WordPress. Back at home on my MacBook Air, or sometimes on my smart phone with the god-awful WordPress app for Android, I look over that list and decide the order to publish them in, and set them all up for weekdays at 11:00. I try to move time-sensitive things like launches up so they publish sooner, and push general “have you ever noticed” posts farther away. I also read over them and do another editing pass. (A lot of times this is when I notice text that is “too volatile” and try to tone it down.) Sometimes I decide that a post is terrible or irrelevent or incomplete and remove it from the schedule entirely. Those posts tend to sit in Draft status forever.

I mentioned that I usually write and edit posts on a MacBook Air. This makes it somewhat inconvenient to add screenshots. If a post needs a screenshot, first I move the image from my gaming PC to a folder on Dropbox. Sometimes I have to convert the screenshot to JPEG before I can use it (I’m looking at you, BMP-saving ESO). Then I move over to the MacBook. I use the Add Media feature and select the screenshot from the Dropbox folder to upload and insert it. I find this process dreadfully awful and time-consuming, so I don’t do it very often. I wish it was easier, though, because I know I should attach some kind of image to every post. Plus I find it amusing to put funny captions on screenshots.

By the way, if I didn’t have Big Brother watching me all day, I would probably look for something like Windows Live Writer to use on the Mac, and it would simplify this process considerably. (It’s not so much that anyone would care about me writing blog posts, it’s that I don’t particularly want anyone to know I’m writing about gaming.)

That, in a nutshell, is my blogging process. It sounds horrifyingly complex, but for some reason it has a rhythm that I find relatively easy to keep up with. Much easier than trying to sit down and write a new post every morning, or something like that.

Scheduling Posts

I saw this excellent post from Belghast a while back: Thumper Logic.

The first part of his post got me thinking about my own publishing schedule, and as it is NBI month I thought a meta-blogging post would be a good topic.

I too have tried to write one post a day–in the past. I applaud the effort, and anyone who can do it is far better at this than I am.

The problem I encountered when trying to write a new post every day was: Not everything I write is publishable. Sometimes I can write for hours and produce thousands of words of nonsensical dreck. In fact, that’s pretty common. (You could probably make the argument that what I publish isn’t publishable either.)

I completely agree with the philosophy that one should practice writing every day. That’s the only way to get better. But pushing myself to write something publishable every day is more than I can deliver without stressing myself out.

That’s why I try to maintain a “buffer” of posts by scheduling in advance. A lot of times I do write a post every day. And sometimes I write two or three posts a day. But sometimes I write two or three posts a day and throw them away, leaving nothing. Sometimes I don’t have time to write anything.

You might wonder why I would care about missing days. There’s a few reasons. First, I’m trying to practice being a writer who can deliver a reliable stream of content.

Another reason is that this is still a fledgling blog. If I were a famous blogger with thousands of devoted readers, it wouldn’t be a problem to miss days. Readers would probably still come back. But since I’m still a nobody, missing posts is more of a big deal. Nothing will drive away site traffic more than failing to post new content.

And while I’m not trying to create the blog of the century here, I am at least trying to create the opportunity for a successful blog. I’m not sure what “success” means quite yet, but at the moment it means publishing something at least moderately entertaining or informative every weekday at 11.

So keeping a buffer of scheduled posts is the best way for me to achieve that success, because it eliminates all of the pressure of writing “on demand.” If you’re curious, I try to stay three or four days ahead. Longer if possible. (That’s why my topics aren’t always “timely.”)

Writing ahead also gives me a second or third or fourth chance to re-read and re-edit my posts before they are published. I try not to do a lot of editing, because I’m also trying to train myself to write better on the first try, but sometimes it’s necessary. (Basically my editing involves removing unnecessary modifiers from my writing. Like that word “basically” back there. Actually, I’m really quite fond of “actually” and “really” too. And “quite,” apparently.)

ESO – Public Dungeon Boss Bots

Massively wondered why public dungeon boss bots are so hard to stamp out in ESO. I thought I would answer this in a blog post, because any comment I posted would be lost in the noise.

I don’t have any first-hand “inside baseball” knowledge but from what I’ve pieced together from years and years of developer posts about how bots are dealt with, this is my guess on why they can’t just snap their fingers and make all the bots in public dungeons disappear:

I wonder where the boss is going to spawn?
I wonder where the boss is going to spawn?

Some percentage of the bots are stolen accounts, which means if they ban the account or the credit card, they are not doing anything to the malicious user, they are only affecting a legitimate customer.

Some percentage of the bots camping public dungeon bosses are probably real people. Not all of them are bots. Perhaps none of them are bots. If you just stand there next to the spawn point with everyone else and spam an ability key (say, the lightning spell if you’re a Sorcerer), you will look exacty like a bot, because the very second the boss appears, you’ll start attacking. In fact, that is about the only way you’re going to get credit for killing that boss and get some loot and/or an achievement. If you do that manually it is a perfectly legitimate, efficient (if cheesy and boring) way to grind out loot to turn into gold and become rich.

The point is that the developers need to spend time to sort out which players are actual bots and which players are just super efficient and/or super lazy. Only then can they start banning IPs or credit cards. Also, it could be gold farmers playing manually, too. Some kid in Korea might be sitting there getting paid 2 cents a day to stand in one spot and spam an attack key over and over and over again. How are they supposed to tell the difference between that kid and someone who is just collecting some extra loot while watching television?

(Personally I think they need to lay down a giant AoE that kills anyone who stands still. That is a tactic that Rift used for people who exploited Onslaughts. Or, you know, get rid of public dungeons. That would be the smart thing to do.)