Today’s blockchain gaming climate brings diverse challenges to the development teams from every project in this ever-growing space. A portion of players crank up their gaming a level by running scripts to automate their accounts, with some going as far as to create entire fleets of automated accounts. Whether the game be on Ethereum, WAX or BNB Chain a small percentage of players are trying their best to spam account creation and syphon as many resources as possible out of the ecosystem.
The morality and ethics of account automation is a hotly contested topic within blockchain gaming communities. On one hand ‘botting’ allows people from all over the world a way to generate passive income, and some of these people could be in regions of the world where hyperinflation has taken hold. For people in these situations ‘botting’ might actually put food on the table and play a vital role in survival.
On the other hand, some botters use their gains to create their own products in this space. Of course, there are undoubtedly a large percentage of people that bot for selfish reasons. The reasons that people automate blockchain games are numerous and cut across a broad range of the socioeconomic and cultural spectrums.
Some projects like the WAX blockchain and Alien Worlds are being proactive about eliminating account automation, while others simply lack the resources to combat bots or just ignore them all together.
What are the ramifications for allowing automated accounts to go unchecked?
On the surface botting sounds innocent enough, and I am sure that most of us in this space have knowingly or unknowingly interacted with people who actively do so. What are the consequences of these actions? As Sir Isaac Newton so eloquently said “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Players with multiple automated accounts ultimately take resources away from real players, in addition, these players muddy the public’s perception of projects by raiding their treasuries around the clock in full view of the blockchain. Even players with 1 automated account are at a sizable advantage to those without.
This behavior suppresses interest from real people and ultimately the value of tokens, indeed some of the bot managers do hold tokens for long periods, however the majority sell immediately.
Botting also puts the average honest player at a huge disadvantage inside the actual games. If an honest player with 1 account faces an opponent with the resources from hundreds of accounts at their disposal, it is almost impossible for them to win anything meaningful. This creates a dynamic where honest players feel discouraged, and some ultimately walk away from a project. Feeling too far behind or like one has the inability to ever conceivably ‘catch up’ sends real players in search of greener pastures and other games.
Many of the games in this space simply lack the resources or understanding as to how to tackle these challenges. Other games in this space are not concerned with eliminating botters, because they like the boost to their numbers and are happy to be garnering any interest at all. Some of these projects are new or just don’t have the resources to combat the automation.
The WAX blockchain prides itself on being the least costly gaming and NFT blockchain in the world. The WAX team recently implemented a 5 WAX creation fee for all new wallets. This fee cuts down on account spam from botters and allows real players to reap more rewards in the hundreds of games built on the WAX blockchain.
Everyday thousands of players flock to Alien Worlds to begin their mining adventures. Explorers are given a Standard Shovel, an avatar and 25 daily mining attempts for free at the start of their journey. The overwhelming majority of Alien Worlds players go on to play the game with 0 interruptions, but for a small percentage of over ambitious Trilium diggers this is not the case. These players often end up with a flagged account, allowing more rewards to go to players that follow the games rule: 1 account per person.
I like the fact that Alien Worlds eliminates botters, even if it is a detriment to their own numbers. This allows real players to thrive in a truly free to play game.
Catching and eliminating automated accounts is a game of cat and mouse and the goal posts are constantly changing for both botters (some of whom are brilliant coders in their own right) and the developers that work to eliminate them from the ecosystem. Devoting resources and correctly identifying automated accounts would go a long way towards ensuring that players can equally reap rewards from the revolutionary games and NFT projects in this space.