Benefits and Deceptions of the Game BotMay 23, 2021 | 0 Votes
One of the most wondrous invention of man is the machine. A mechanized contraption that usually performs repetitive tasks making man's everyday life a lot more easier. These machines come in all shapes and sizes depending on the functions which they perform. Some of these devices have become really complex that they are able to perform somewhat the way a human being does regarding some particular specific work or action and do it effectively and efficiently. These machines are called Robots. By definition, a robot may look or not look similar to the human form but are able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically.
In the world of computers and current digital technology, these amazing computing devices are able to function by executing programs which are also known as codes or scripts. Usually, these running programs require a computer user to interact or provide input to them as they function to complete specific tasks. A good example may be a computer game. The player moves a paddle or joystick and the spaceship being controlled moves appropriately on the screen. However, the program or game needs to automate certain tasks like moving an enemy to counter what the player just did. In the absence of input from another real player, the game must assign specific tasks to certain routines or codes to take the place of the absent other player. These codes are written in a way that they mimic the actions of the absent player and thus act in accordance with the definition of Robot. For that, they have been called software bots or specifically, game bots.
Using game bots have both it's advantages and disadvantages in computer and video gaming. Computers are powerful devices that compute and perform tasks at speeds nearly impossible for a normal Terran human to achieve and in the world of gaming, a player needs to play with someone (or something) that will be present and ready to interact with. To this, the game will make use of bots to fulfill the needed functions. These game bots come in different forms from automating repetitive actions for the gamer, to providing game generated characters to interact with (NPC's) or opponents to deal with (enemy NPC's).
To site specific samples of these automated performing scripts/codes let's see how they work for some specific genres. An example would be simulation games. Let's say Farming games where you plant, harvest and sell your crops or livestock. Instead of repeating the process over and over again, by using automated function bots or scripts, you can Auto Plant, Auto Harvest and Auto Sell and focus on something else while these actions repeat themselves for you. Applied to another genre, in the RTTS online game Clash of Clans, using the AutoBots hehe... will let you Auto Train troops, Auto Search Clans, Auto Search Dead Bases and Auto other things that have to be repeated over and over again. These, makes gaming a way lot more easier although depending on the game community environment may be considered a disadvantage as well if viewed as cheating.
For fighting games, playing solo will definitely pit you against a Robot player no matter how groovy or sexy the NPC looks. Most of these codes require detailed and specific coded instructions to be able to react and counter your every move as to why Princess Katana has been giving you a hard time and the match ending with you spinning your head around and the game prompting her to Finish Him!
Also, these automation programs may either be Heuristic (self learning) or simply follow a given set of responses. An example are the bots used for FPS games. Some bots rely on waypoints programmed into the game map which the bots will strictly follow, and react to any encounter en route (ex. CounterStrike). Other FPS use bots with machine learning by which they learn from their opponents and react accordingly. Some bots use a mixture of both to get the job done. Either way though, a seasoned FPS player will always be able to differentiate a bot from another player in that the bot almost always reacts in the same way and will continue to follow it throughout the game. A human on the other hand will do things that one would probably least expect.
In advanced MMORPG's certain repetitive hack and slash activities can be relegated to the automated (bot) functions of the game which can build up the stats (exp or inv) of the player. Some of these are not allowed but there will always be players who would rather hack their way through the game than earn things the fair and hard way.
As mentioned, one of the main benefits of using bots is when the player has to play off-line or solo play. For whatever reason whether to train oneself, to play alone, to avoid extreme lag that can ruin a game or to play without worry of being cheated by a hacking opponent, bots can easily fill in the gaps by assuming the role of other players in the game. Many cloud based competitive, RTTS and RPG games usually use bots to fill in games where there are not enough players playing to give any online player who connects, other players to play with.
Another benefit of using game bots is that they do keep online games running. Whether the game has passed it's popularity peak or one of those games which have not been heard much off and less popular, game bots help by extending the life of the game or to build up a community of players who will keep coming back simply because they enjoy the game. Even the top most games like CounterStrike use bots despite having a huge community following worldwide where the game never seems to have a shortage of online players playing at any given time.
Finally, game bots can be used to deceive players. This issue created a lot of controversy when online players recently discovered that a number of .io and mobile games which where advertised as multi-player where actually single player games with bots that used fictitious player names, cowing players logging in into thinking that they where playing with others online. Using bots in the not yet so popular games to build up a player base as mentioned is not a bad thing and is common for multi-player online. What is wrong is advertising a single player game as multi-player just to get the peeps to play it. If the player goes offline, usually they discover that the other (supposedly) players have also gone offline but still playing with them nonetheless. This is definitely game bot deception of the highest kind. Some developers and publishers truly have no shame just to make money.
In whatever instance that game bots are used, let us always remember that a game is in general a simulation and today's computing and digital devices being the best platform to accomplish this, making them foremost as Robots by definition.