On the Neverwinter Gateway, Botting and Resources

Yesterday was not a good day for the game. The devs conceded yet another valuable asset to the botters by closing down the Gateway forever. It’s not the first time the legit player has to suffer in the war against botting, and prolly also not the last time. Leadership, Coalescent Wards, bound Refining Points, capped utility procs, now the Gateway… the list keeps growing.

I don’t agree with the decision and regret losing the Gateway, but I also don’t think it’s a decision the devs took lightly. You might even have to honor their courage, because pushing through the decision against the mob is certainly not easy.

Botting was an issue

Also let’s not pretend botting hasn’t been a huge issue with the Gateway. I myself have seen and worked on scripts for the Gateway that can potentially exploit any offered function:

  • Botting the Sword Coast Adventures with a 100% success rate
  • Playing the ZAX to create AD out of thin air (buy low, sell high)
  • Auto buy and sell auctions and undercut the competition
  • Bot professions

The devs acknowledged they have taken steps to stop the issue, but eventually failed which ultimately led to the shutdown of the Gateway. I think in the end the botters lost more with the Gateway than the legit players, but it’s disconcerting that Cryptic seems to be only able to handle botting by cropping features. There is not a single example of them directly fighting bots aside from a few features to hinder new account of accessing the mailbox and such. All they do is cut, cut and cut.

No indication of success

What makes matters worse is that we also lack any indication of success. The gold spammers have not gone away, and obviously never will. Any prevention they do only seems to relocate the problem, not solve it. The Sword Coast Adventures are now gone for botters of course, but the environment to automate professions ingame is well developed and long set up.

In the end the devs have to show their actions have hurt botters more than the legit players, which have lost a lot of useful functions with the Gateway. It doesn’t help that Cryptic is prone to remove without a proper backup plan. Panderus confirmed he has gotten the task to look into ways to make the lost Companion Gear from the SCA available ingame. It’s irritating and unprofessional this wasn’t done in advance. Now the gear is lost for a certain time. Also professions need a major overhaul now, which is supposed to happen “within the next modules”. I mean, what the eff?

It’s a business decision

It also bugs me that botting is once again used as prominent cover-up. The devs confirmed the shutdown was about resources. This means there undoubtedly would have been ways to preserve the Gateway while making it harder for bots. The devs however weren’t willing to invest their time in the process. You can bitch about the evil botters all day, but this is as much a business decision. Let’s not forget the Gateway is something they can not utilize on all platforms and I’m pretty sure this makes it incredibly hard to assign devs to the project.


Overall I think you can understand the decision, but a sour taste nonetheless remains. The devs at least have to handle these situations smarter and offer prompt solutions instead of a random compensation with an ironic touch. But since we are talking about this stuff as long as the game exists, I personally doubt their strategy will ever change. Which is again simply a matter of resources. It’s frustrating, but the only real solution for players would be to switch to a bigger title.

What’s you take on the shutdown of the Gateway? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

8 thoughts on “On the Neverwinter Gateway, Botting and Resources

  • Avatar
    September 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm
    Permalink

    Theres no technical reason the console games ‘cant’ use the gateway. From various outtages we have reason to know that the actual game is still hosted by cryptic servers. Any gateway or app wouldn’t have to go through MS to access the game database. Certainly there may be licensing issues etc as there always are when dealing with the likes of m$, but that is a lack of dealmaking, not an inherent game detail.

    Heck theres a Halo5 app for IOS and Android. ..and they made a big deal about Halo becoming an Xbox only property. Doubtful they are more protective of a 3rd party game then they are about an inhouse pet project.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    September 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm
    Permalink

    How can you call this decision courageous? The devs spent the better part of a week ignoring players as to why they brought the gateway down. We probably won’t hear from them again until at least mid week. The moderators they hire to mediate are also clueless as to what’s going on. The PC community is just being ignored at this point.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    September 18, 2016 at 12:43 pm
    Permalink

    The moderaters in the official forums are volunteers.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    September 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm
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    The thing that bothers me is that as usual there was no warning so people were buying companions to use for SCA up to the day they told people. There was no ok guys were shutting down the gateway in a month or anything. And the botter thing was BS as well as the “it’s causing problems for the live servers” it was 100% in my opinion simply that they didn’t want to maintain the server anymore.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    September 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm
    Permalink

    I am staying clear of the NW forums since my posts are misquoted and deleted. My last conversation on there left a bad taste in my mouth.

    sandukutupu said:
    @panderus
    This has ALWAYS puzzled me. Question: Why do I need to know the name and handle of the player selling anything in the Auction House? Am I suppose to use this to write them a thank you letter? This is how gold spammers pass AD farmed by botting. All you needed to do was remove a name field from the Auction House table.
    I think most people here would agree, remove the name of the seller and AD cannot be exchanged. You didn’t need to tear down a website for that, unless you were just looking for an excuse to place free items in the zen store and trade bar store. But then they won’t be “free” anymore will they?
    panderus said:
    I’m not sure follow what you are trying to say….

    After his reply, I just lost it. My follow up post was removed.

    I am a 50 year old housewife, how is it I know what a Blind Auction is and this developer doesn’t?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    September 21, 2016 at 5:34 am
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    @Wendy: every fix brings in a new way to exploit things. How many people sell Lesser Health Potion for precisely 12.398.521 AD? You don’t need to know the name, you just need to put in an auction you can easily recognize.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      September 21, 2016 at 12:16 pm
      Permalink

      Games like Black Desert have a Blind Auction, it works because you have an upper limit level. I don’t see a point to lower limit levels, but they set a reasonable range based on what players are selling. This game already has a suggested price range.

      Selling a common for 1 million would just be impossible. In fact, the “silver sellers” for Black Desert are actually saying this on their webpages;
      “Attention Please

      Black Desert Silver can’t be traded currently. So we offer silver service.
      We login in your account and farming the silver for you like power leveling.
      We guarantee the security of your account.”

      LOL how pathetic.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    November 1, 2016 at 4:15 am
    Permalink

    I have only played a few months, as a long time STO player I finally checked this out. When my VIP sub runs out, I am done. The gateway was the only thing that really appealed to me, as I travel for work and could do some things while away (and get my son to pick up my chest key every day). I just enjoyed the dice game honestly. I’ve even found these ‘paid’ chests to be as nearly useless as the 1:2000 useful STO chests, like the mulhorand items that I’ll never use as I only have 2 characters – at least let me feed them to the only artifact weapon I’ll ever obtain as I’m not much of a grinder.

    Reply

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