Added software gives Lineage II bots the boot

Online game implements GameGuard to ban murderous bots, but users say it doesn't work that well.

American Lineage II players who are tired of having their characters killed by greedy bots may get some relief now that NCsoft has integrated antihacking software, nProtect GameGuard, into the online game.

The program is designed to cut down on automated bot farmers, which are usually placed by other players to kill monsters and take their loot. Often, those bots can't tell the difference between monsters and legitimate players, so they wind up slaughtering real players indiscriminately. This kind of cheating is "the oldest profession in MMOs," said an NCsoft spokesperson. "It takes the balance of the game off its hinges."

When a player logs on to Lineage II, GameGuard verifies that no hacking scripts are being used and then verifies the data stream to the Lineage II servers. If a hack is found, the client is not permitted to run. Similar protections were included in the original Lineage four years ago. NCsoft planned to include GameGuard when it launched Lineage II, but producers waited, because they were not happy with its functionality at the time. Recent improvements have brought it up to their standards, according to Aaron Rigby, North American producer for Lineage II.

NCsoft reported that GameGuard has already shown positive results in Asia. However, fans on the Lineage II forums say that plenty of bots remain and that GameGuard increases server lag.

"This is only part of the total support solution," Rigby said. "We always do regular bot investigations using our support tools and our in-game logging, but what this does is provide a front line of defense."

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