Looks Like Blizzard Doesn't Care That Much About Hearthstone Bots

Bots — software that can be left to its own devices to play a game for you — is a common fixture of games that require players to grind for achievements or content. As you can imagine then, Blizzard's Hearthstone has become a lucrative target for bot makers, but what exactly can the developer do to combat this issue, if it's doing anything at all?

Going by a PC Gamer interview by Tim Clark with a prolific botter by the names of "Jones", it sounds like Blizzard isn't doing anything particularly proactive, at least, not at the moment. According to Jones, he's been able to use a bot to earn three "golden portraits" — an accolade given to a player that wins 500 ranked games with a class — and that he's left it active for large periods of time with no repercussions:

Amazingly, he tells me that on one occasion he left the bot playing for three days straight without any problems at all. This seems odd, because Blizzard previously told me that looking for unusual play patterns were a key factor in weeding out bots. I mean, sure, some streamers will play marathon sessions — but three days straight ought to raise some sort of automated eyebrow, right?

The article goes on to mention that the bot has even gone head-to-head with popular Hearthstone streamers such as Zisss and Trump and played very competitively:

"[Zisss is] a good player, but I noticed my bot had 30 health and 2 armor, while he was down to 8. So I looked at his stream quickly, and he was just saying how I was getting lucky with top decking, and he didn’t even notice it was a bot he was playing against."

Bots aren't perfect though and are often confused by more complicated card effects, such as "Deathrattle", which is triggered when a minion dies.

It may be frustrating to play against a bot, be it the equally-spaced playing of cards, the lack of interaction or the intangible coldness, but there's nothing stopping you from taking advantage of its weaknesses...

Interview with a Hearthstone botter: "I'm not scared of getting caught" [PC Gamer]

Image: Blizzard


Comments

    From everything they've done/haven't done since the beta until now (between communication and updates/patches) I think at this point it's pretty clear that while Hearthstone may be a good game, the team working on it a some mix of mild-moderate incompetence and extreme laziness.

    They see a card is too popular (making the meta boring) so they nerf it into the floor (essentially removing from play entirely) but completly ignore cards that are never used already. There are dozens of UI elements people have asked to be improved/fixed but the devs either ignore them or say it's 'too complicated' (or in the case of extra deck slots, flat out insult the players by saying 'more then 9 decks would be too confusing.')

    This stuff with the botters is really just more of the same.. They're probably somewhere between cbf and don't know what to do.

      More deck slots would be great. I only want one more really. One for each class, and a slot to test a deck with without pulling the old deck apart.

    To be honest, I couldn't imagine any blizzard game without bots, it's a common problem in every mmo or online game.

    Hearthstone is a fun and simplified game. However I feel like it's a safe card game. The variety in card decks is generally pretty underwhelming and it's just a little too simple at times.

    Not that it's a bad game but if a bot can play it's way through as if it was human using a set of rough rules, the game is probably a little too easy? Or maybe whoever made the bot is just good at what they do.

    Yeah they don't care about the WoW bots either... I'd see level 1 characters teleporting through the air across the maps in high level zones, looting/ninja'ing chests, spam for YEARS, and battleground bots that ruin the game because you're always playing at disadvantage by being outnumbered.

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