This morning on Reddit and a few other popular hangout places around the 'net, Diablo 3 botters have been posting and warning about a sudden crack down from Blizzard. Many have stated losing all of their accounts, while some say they have only lost around half of their farming accounts, either way, it's a big plus one to Blizzard for doing what should have really been done weeks ago.
For anyone not quite sure what these bots were doing, and why Blizzard have finally banned them, essentially people run anywhere from 1-100 Diablo 3 game instances simultaneously off a single PC (depending on how many accounts that person owns and how powerful their PC is), in order to run very quick and easy "gold paths". These paths will generally involve breaking pots, urns or any other "breakables" that can contain gold. There is usually minimal combat, and more often than not characters are equipped with massive "+ gold drop" item statistics to further increase efficiency.
Some botters on Reddit have previously claimed up to 100K per hour, per account is possible depending on the bot used and the gear of the character, meaning each account can haul a whopping 2.4Million gold per day. Those running multiple accounts obviously multiply this number by the number of accounts simultaneously running to come up with a final daily "grind" value.
If the average botter has 20 accounts running on their PC, and the current gold price is valued at $2.50/Mil, then each account earns $5-6 per day currently. Not a whole lot, but it adds up quickly to become $100-$120 per day if you're running 20 bots, meaning you can pay off two copies of Diablo 3 every day, paying off your initial licence key purchases in a little over a week, and entering "profits" before the month is through.
The problem now of course, is after MONTHS of "farming" anyone who hadn't offloaded gold already has lost everything. Some accounts were reported to be containing excess of BILLIONS of gold, worth thousands of real dollars.
Some conspiracy theorists out there believe Blizzard carried out the ban only hours before the RMAH (Real money Auction House) had the ability to sell gold in an order to "troll' the gold farmers and botters. Some of the Diablo 3 community is in rejoice, as botting overall will only increase inflation, while others (mostly botters) are obviously upset at the ban, now unable to recover their initial investments into the game, losing hundreds and even thousands of dollars on game licence keys and PC power usage.
Do you think the ban is acceptable? Should player be allowed to "bot" if they want? Does the sale of gold belong on the RMAH anyway? Have your say below.
Update: We managed to secure an interview with Tonto, an Atomican who has revealed himself as a botter. Take a look at his side of the fence, how botting works, and the truth about botting Blizzard titles.