Botters, especially gold farmers, are a serious threat to RuneScape, and the battle lines in our war against bots have shifted back and forth over the years. Last year we created BotWatch as a new piece of anti-bot technology, and it has been progressively rolled out across the main game. BotWatch allowed us to make significant progress against removing illegitimate players, especially in the last few months.
As Old School RuneScape is a much earlier version of the game, significant time has been needed to integrate BotWatch into OSRS. However we’re pleased to say the basic BotWatch systems are live in OSRS and we’re beginning to expand its reach across the game. The results have been positive so far, with over 21,000 bans applied in the last two weeks. Of course there is still much more progress that we need to make to significantly bring down the number of bots. Initially we’re prioritizing gold farmers and activities which affect resource competition, hiscores competition and we will continually expand this over time.
We can be a lot more efficient at this with your help. Thankfully, there are several things you can do:
Reporting bots - This is crucial to the strength and accuracy of the system. We evaluate every report we receive, taking the data and information from the report to help tune the system ensuring it remains 100% accurate and targets the right offenders.
Attend bot busts - These aren't a just lip service – they’re a means to send a very clear message to those who're botting that not only we, but also the community, are coming after them. We've noticed that around the time of bot busts, bot numbers actually drop! These events also allow us to gather more information about bot usage.
Don't bot - Bot developers may tell you that they 'have the latest way to avoid being detected' and they 'offer 100% immunity to bans'. Realistically, you're playing in our ball park and we have complete control. Running a bot yourself puts your account at great risk, not only from being permanently banned, but from hijacking and the visible shame of your friends seeing you participate in it.
In the coming weeks, we’re confident the numbers of gold farming accounts that plague popular training and resource areas will drop dramatically. We've always taken a zero tolerance approach to botting and gold farming, and we're committed to delivering that for the Old School community too. If there are any botters reading then beware: it's not a matter of if you get caught, it's when you get caught. Don't put your account at risk and carelessly damage the integrity of the game.
The community is coming.