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Runescape

Up to date as of February 07, 2010
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From the RuneScape Wiki, the wiki for all things RuneScape

"Bots" redirects here. For bot guidelines on this wiki, see RuneScape:Bots.
Macros chopping down a yew tree.

A macro (variously referred to as a macroer, bot, auto or autobot) is a third-party software that performs an automated task, such as Woodcutting or Mining. The terms macroer and autoer usually refers to players who use such programs. The use of such programs can actually allow the macroers to achieve surprisingly high skill levels in a short amount of time, if ran 24/7. However, it is against the RuneScape rules (Jagex considers it cheating) and may result in action taken against that player's account, such as a permanent ban and possibly having that player's IP address blocked from the RuneScape website (usually only with gold farming bots). Another offence under the category of a macro is when a player trains away from keyboard, which has been dubbed by players as an abbreviation, AFKing. If you are caught AFKing it is a "Macro Minor" ban, which expires one year after the issue and the ban itself can last up to ten days. AFKing entails manipulating the game engine where automatic tasks are operated providing the player no need to physically be at the computer of operation. However, it is legitimate in some cases, where the automatic engine tasks only last for a few moments such as chopping down a tree, or offering bones at an alter in a POH. Other legitimate cases in combat are Giants Spiders and Bandits after the Rune Tek 5 update, since the engine now logs you out after a period of no activity regardless of whether or not the player is in combat. Some examples of illegitimate AFKing is trying to take advantage of person who is not AFK.

A macro program operates by automating user input to the game. A simple macro may automatically move the cursor to a certain position and performs a click while a more advanced one may actually interact with the game client. This can make for a much more powerful macro, but can also make it much easier to detect. Use of a macro is against the rules, as it breaks the Honour rule.

The macroing tools are reputed to do lots of tasks. Some of these examples are given below.

  • One example is macro tools are sometimes used for simple tasks as autotyping the same message repeatedly. This is often used by players in the Grand Exchange, where a trade offer quickly disappears in the volume of other messages, or used to advertise a real world trading site. This can be a nuisance to other players with all the spam, and can also be reported under Honour.
  • Auto clickers are another kind of macro tool used to repeatedly click a desired spot. These can be set at a desired speed to click such as 10 clicks a second. Auto clickers are mostly used to put user input into the game in order to circumvent the auto-logout system.
  • Another task that a macro tool can perform is autobuying from shops. Right clicking buy 10 of an item loads of times is an example. This has been stopped with the personalized stock update. . As a result, autobuying bots are very rare, and the ones that still exist buy and bank items for a profit of being sold at the Grand Exchange.
  • Some macros involve more complicated tasks such as banking, mining, woodcutting, fishing, monster-killing, and more. A RuneScape character controlled by a macro is commonly called a bot.

On 10 December of 2007, Jagex implemented an enormous amount of updates aimed at ending the use of macros in the game. Although these updates have been successful at drastically cutting down on the number of both macros and real-world traders, reactions among players who haven't used bots have been mixed concerning how well-implemented these updates were. It is also a common misconception that macroers have been totally removed or nearly abolished from the game since Jagex implemented this update. Although the bot problem has decreased due to this, there are still many of such programs operating in RuneScape today.

Contents

Gold Farming

See also: Real world trading

Gold farmers are also considered to be macros since they behave like them, and most of them are even automated via macroing programs. Fighting monsters and dealing with random events is not easily automated, as they can be very complicated to script. These accounts may be in breach of the Honour rule (which forbids more than one person using any one account), but a stricter enforcement of another part of the rule forbidding real world trading is the most important part in eliminating the sellers and buyers of this collected gold, as well as the collectors. Some gold farming still persists as part of a training service, where a gold farmer trains an arbitrary account in return for payment.

Because macros are not controlled by humans, it is possible to operate a large amount of them at once, allowing more gold and items to be collected quickly.

Common macro hotspots

Fishing macros netting fish in Draynor Village.

This is a list of the common spots for macroing/gold farming activity, prior to the 10 December 2007 update, except where noted.

Hot-spots marked "still ongoing" are hot-spots that macros/gold farmers can still be found at, even after 10 December. Hot-spots marked "obsolete" are those which are still possible to use effectively, yet there is no gain in doing so thanks to a shop update.

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Common free-to-play hotspots

Common pay-to-play hotspots

With the better money making options in Member's only worlds, there is an increasing amount of autoing activity on the member servers. Jagex has also claimed that gold farmers pay for their membership using stolen credit card numbers. Some member money making activities done by macros/gold farmers include:

The selling of items obtained by gold farmers are notable both in the game worlds and on the market forums, where they will typically be selling vast amounts of an item at once (such as 50k Willow logs or 20k Lobsters).

Macro program risks

Many programs claim to be a macro program of some sort. Often such programs originate from dubious sources and merely infect the computers that they are installed on with spyware and/or other malware. The sole aim of the malware is to obtain the RuneScape account details, (i.e. Key loggers which steal your usernames and passwords not only to RuneScape, but to everything on your computer). Some malware is reputed to be capable of discovering the in-game bank PIN, usually by taking screenshots of your computer every time you click. In addition to the malware, using a macro program also is against the Honour rule, (which states "You must not use other software to gain an unfair advantage in the game".

Identifying and reporting macros

The default look of a character, which many of the old bots tend to look like.

Many macros/gold farmers are on the F2P version of the game chopping trees, or fishing lobsters, though they're also quite common on the P2P version as well. They will sell their collected items for RuneScape gold, which they then sell for real world cash. See the hotspots section above for a list of common areas that macros hang around at.

Elements that raise suspicion to macroing/gold farming are:

  • A hard to remember name with lots of random numbers or letters, often from different parts of the keyboard (eg: Al8zm2p15s)
  • Only one skill trained (usually woodcutting, fishing, mining, or melee combat) This can be checked by looking up the name on the hiscores, or casting Stat Spy on a suspected bot.
  • Are level 3, though most are higher levels (higher level macroers are more common in members worlds).
  • Will have the default look (male, bald, and a dark brown goatee), although they have recently been known to diversify somewhat due to the new tutorial that does not start out with the old default look.
  • Are dressed in the default outfit (khaki shirt and forest green pants), or random event clothing. (With the advent of RuneScape HD, however, macroers have been found in various random colours, typically bright ones.)
  • May exert strange behaviour such as not being able to fish in certain spots and thus running backwards and forwards from the fishing spot (or just not interacting at all with certain spots).
  • Gets stuck after a door is closed, as is the case when going to mine rune essence at Aubury's in Varrock (bots run around attempting to get Aubury to teleport them, but cannot as the door is closed).
  • Do not respond to chat. Most bots will not respond if you say something to them. However, players who have their chat off or who are simply not looking at it, might also not respond. Also, some bots are able to respond, so reporting people just because they aren't talking is not always the best thing to do.
  • In the mining guild, anyone that mines the same coal spawn as you or another character may be a bot. Because of the space between coal spawns, a higher level doesn't guarantee you'll get the coal over someone else, so it is common practice to always go for open coal spawns. Only macros and inexperienced coal miners will continually begin mining an ore even if someone else is already mining it. Macros here will most commonly be higher combat level wearing assorted expensive gear to throw off other players.

It is not necessary for a player to check that macroers are actually using a macro before reporting them, as Jagex checks to be sure a report is true before acting on it, and a player reporting a non-macro will not be punished, so if the player sees any of the above behaviour or any other suspicious behaviour, the player should always report the suspected macro.

If an advertising bot is found, in addition to reporting it, a player can alert a moderator to come and deal with the spambot.

RuneScape Rules

All examples above break one or more rules. The main reason for the rules is to increase the game entertainment factor for all players. There are several mechanisms in the game that are reputed to deter and detect rule abuse, in particular the use of bots. Some examples are random events, periodic shifts in map orientation and changes to the game. No information is available about the macro detecting facilities that operate on the game servers.

Macros and the economy

Some players argued that macros used to contribute over half the raw materials in the game, thus making them useful, doing tasks that no person would want to do, like cutting yews constantly. Bots also will eventually be banned, so most of the bot-made money leaves the game anyway so it doesn't damage the economy.

However, macros greatly affect prices of raw materials, reducing the prices of items due to many of them being released into the economy at once (prices of sharks plummeted from 800 each to 400 each at one point). As macros gain capabilities, there are increasingly fewer options for honest players to generate money from raw material collection.

Internal workings

Like normal players, a macro tool needs to control the game by giving the appropriate inputs. These controls result in some game reaction that the macro needs to observe and interpret to plan the next action. Typically, a macro tool is split into several components that are described below.

An example of some macros using an extra macro program that recognizes when a tree is gone, so that they immediately run to find a new tree.

Gaming engine

The gaming engine is the part of the macro that interacts with the game and that analyses the responses. A software program running on the game playing computer usually has the capability to generate mouse input (move, click, drag, etc.) and to generate keyboard input (key down, key up). Analysing the response from the game can be done by capturing the entire game image. Some image processing might be required to obtain information about the game response. The gaming engine provides the basic mechanisms to play the game, but it requires task specific knowledge to actually perform the macro operation. Some basic ones click colours on the screen. Others hack the RuneScape canvas to make the colour bots minimisable and to be able to run many. More advanced ones use BCEL or reflection java API's to inject/scan the RuneScape client for variables.

Task script engine

In order to create a bot, a macro tool contains a task script engine to implement a sequence of steps to perform a particular task. A single purpose bot is not particularly useful, so task script engines have the capability to load and execute scripts containing the programming instructions for a particular bot task. Common tasks such as random event detection are supported in default scripts that any bot will need to use.

Jagex responses

Jagex's first major action against macro users was on 29 May 2002, in which around 2,000 players were reset for using RuneBot. In 2003, Jagex added the "fatigue" system to combat macroing. It is believed this system does not deter the more advanced macros in RuneScape Classic. On 12 December 2003, Jagex banned around 400 players for macro use. On 2 January 2004, Jagex banned nearly 1,000 more players. A ban of about 3,000 players happened in RuneScape Classic on 24 October 2004.

On 12 January 2006, 3,000 RuneScape Classic players were banned (while closing the game to new players) with 15,000 RS2 players banned one week later for macroing.

On 26 April 2006, Jagex tried to devalue rune essence on purpose, although it is debatable whether this was achieved.

On the first of May 2007, Jagex started enforcing Rule 7 and Rule 12 even further and began tracking items that originally came from a macro's account, and have claimed they ban about 8,000 macro accounts a week. They have also updated the punishment for attempting this type of cheating. The number of blackmarks given for macroing was moved from 7 to 90 (which would permanently ban the player 9 times over) because some macro users were selling the coins they would get for real life money.

Increasingly difficult random events have also been one of Jagex's methods to decrease the prevalence of macroers, although it hasn't been considered very effective as most macros have been able to solve them via special scripts or human input.

On 10 December 2007, Jagex furthered their crackdown on Real world trading by making all drops, stakes, and trades for new accounts to have a max net worth of 3,000 coins, as well as altering the wilderness. A player can change the max number of coins they trade by obtaining more Quest points. The changed wilderness sparked controversy and riots, most notably the Pay to Pk Riot. On the other hand, real world trading is now more difficult, as the wealth they gather cannot be transferred to buyer accounts as quickly or as easily. Therefore, seeing a macroer is now rare, as unbalanced trading made gold farming fairly worthless. But it is still possible to see them doing any of the activities mentioned above (mostly killing Green Dragons). On the 2nd of January 2008, Jagex eliminated unbalanced trades for all accounts, with additional coins being able to be gained or lost proportionate to the player's Quest Points (with a minimum of 3,000 coins and a maximum of 30,000 coins).With the 30 September trade margin update,the minimum is now 5000 and the maximum is 60000, assuming the player has at least 270 quest points.

In the early days, the use of a macro constituted a temporary ban for the first offence and a permanent ban for the second. However, after a clan leader told members to macro since they had an extra chance, Jagex changed the policy such that all macro-related offences resulted in a permanent ban.

However, after several changes in the appeal system, some macro-related offences (such as Real World Trading) were downgraded back to a temporary ban.

It is often reported that free players get banned permanently while members get a fourteen-day ban, although many other players claim otherwise.

It is also debatable if Jagex give much attention to this issue any more as numerous reports from players suggest that after reporting suspected macroers no punishment seems to occur to the rule breaker(s) even days/weeks after the report was filed.

On 11 June 2009, Jagex strengthened their macro-detection system. Players caught for macroing don't receive a warning, or a chance to appeal. Updates from 10 December 2007 forced players that macro with throw away account to macro on their main accounts. This is because transfer of a large amount of wealth is no longer possible. Thousands have been banned for macroing, high levels and member's accounts were not immune, or given an extra chance.[1]

On 1 February 2010 Jagex released a Friends-to-Friends trading system that will increase the wealth of money you can trade over through accounts. Example. 1 Month of friendship, double trade limit, 2 Months of friendship, triple trade limit and so go on. Quest Points does affect this trade limit and the most you could possibly trade over is 240,000 per 15 minutes if you have 270 Questpoints.

Ways to stop macros

One way to stop macros is to go to the spot where they are. You must bring a pet with you, and make sure that the spot is a place to collect items, such as flax or snape grass. Simply put your pet over the certain spot and macros will stand there trying to pick up your pet, rather than the item. It is advised to bring something to do in the process, like training magic, or else it can be extremely boring.

In addition, with some luck, and if the macro has Accept Aid on, it may be possible to teleport the macro using Tele-other spells, though this may not work all the time. The best way to try and deter accounts using macros is by using the Report Abuse system, rather than trying to solve it yourself.

See also

External links


This article uses material from the "Macro" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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