Why Bot Farming is Dominant in EVE Online

By Frank Lewis,
A veteran gamer argues that humans will find little profit farming ISK in the space sandbox MMO, leaving bots to do all the grunt work.

With some well-reasoned calculations, Greedy Goblin determined that an average Eastern European and Russian would need to earn at least 60 million ISK per hour to be able to justify farming in EVE Online rather than an equally paying minimum wage job.

"If you could get about $4-6 by playing EVE an hour, RMT would be all over the place and illicit ISK sellers. The main reason of limited RMT in EVE is that non-bot ISK farming is unprofitable, even if we consider Eastern European, Indian or Chinese workforce. The truth is that ISK farming is so unprofitable as real world work that no man (only bots) do that," said the popular blog poster.

CCP War on Bots
If what Greedy Goblin turns out to be true, that bots currently perform the majority of ISK farming in EVE Online, then it makes more sense now that developer CCP is putting extra effort to crack down on VMWare mining bots. The developer has also been notoriously heavy-handed against any use of third-party programs that allows automation.

CCP is also moving against bot-like behavior, even those that do not use third-party programs. Last week, anti-RMT vanguard CCP Screegs said pilots caught AFK Complex farming will face administrative actions.

"Administrative action against your account in this case would only come from rather extreme examples of abuse such as farming an effected complex 24 hours a day or some period of time beyond human capacity, which is deemed abusive," CCP Screegs said. "Game design will also be looking at changing our complex systems so that this is no longer possible in the near future."

Here we see that CCP is actively modifying game systems to also discourage bot-like farming. The developer isn't against players spending all day, every day trying to earn ISK. What it does frown upon is when the said player does not need to sit in front of their computer and manage cargo to earn ISK.

All in all, it seems that the war on RMT in EVE Online is turning exclusively into a war against bots and bot-like behavior. Part of the reason is due to intentional game design and another is simple economics - human farmers might simply be earning more for their effort in other MMOs like World of Warcraft.

Previous Article | Go to Articles Overview | Next Article