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Macros (also known as Autos, Autoers, Bots, Borgs, and Macroers) are players who use illegal third-party programs while playing RuneScape which automatically perform boring tasks such as training or making money. These programs directly break the Macroing rule under Honour (formerly Rule 7) by enabling players that use them to unfairly gain large amounts of resources, money, and high skill levels without actually working for any of it. This also has a negative effect on hard-working players who play fairly and earn their skills and money, as the large number of macros have caused a drop in the price of sharks, lobsters, yew logs, willow logs, green dragonhide, and other commodities. Therefore, the punishment for repeated macroing is an instant and permanent ban from RuneScape, with no chance to appeal.

It is STRONGLY advised to NOT download any macroing software, as the chances of being caught by Jagex are extremely high, and NOT worth risking your account and/or your hard-earned skill levels for.

Macroers pose a significant problem in free worlds, though they are also not an uncommon sight in members worlds. Most macro characters have either the default look (Bald, brown goatee, green pants, and khaki shirt) or a randomized look, have low combat levels, and have names like Jingzhao998, 1087937239 or Ssxx348 which make it hard for any player to report. On occasion, however, there are high-leveled players that lose their patience with training and employ bots and/or borgs in their place. The main goal of these players is to gather RuneScape gold by doing repetitive money-making tasks. These "gold farmers" then sell the collected gold for real world cash. The term "borg" describes a macro that is assisted by human input, a common trait among macros that work in sweatshops (most notably Green Dragon Bots).

The macro problem increased since the return of free trade on 1 February 2011. More bots have gone woodcutting to collect yew logs and magic logs, green and blue dragon bots came and collected their loots. Now, TzHaar and black demon bots have been introduced, and they collect various TzHaar loot and infernal ashes, respectively.
Default

The default player look, which is what most macroers tend to look like. Players who have this look are not always bots however.

False Reports

Some people walk by a user who is training a repetitive skill (usually woodcutting) will automatically assume that the person is a macroer and reports them. To avoid this, players should try to start a conversation with people who might be suspicious of them every once in a while. Although with more advanced bots and borgs, some can talk and even type in characters usernames.

Also someone might mistake a person who has been temporarily or permanently muted as a macroer since they can not talk at all. However, muted players generally communicate using emotes or the Quick Chat system, so if the player doesn't talk, perform emotes, or use Quick Chat when spoken to, they are probably a macro.

A player may also have public chat turned off, this will mean they can not read public messages other than those sent by mods. This may increase the chance of someone being incorrectly suspected as being a bot. If this is believed try making emotes towards them or private messaging them.

If the suspect fits all the catagories, then it is most likely a bot or a borg.

Some newer bots found at black dragons have been trained to say there levels. Asking them repeatedly can generally show they are a bot. Some bots also chase items of similar colours to what they are botting, such as dragon bones in the case of dragon bots.


For information on who to report go to the Evidence of bots section.

History of macro-related events

  • May 29, 2002 - about 2,000 players were stat-wiped for using RuneBot. This was the first "mass ban" in the history of RuneScape.
  • Between December 2006 and April 2007 - Raw sharks and cooked sharks slipped in price from 1,000 coins each to 800 coins each due to an increase in fishing bots. The number of bots continued to increase, and began to flood the market, causing both raw and cooked sharks to plummet to 400 coins each (see 2007 Raw Fish Dip). After mass bannings against the fishing bots, sharks have rebounded back to 800 coins each.
  • Early 2007 - Green Dragon hide plummeted by 500 coins from 2k each to 1.5k thanks to the Green Dragon bots and borgs.
  • Another macro that was increasing in annoyance in 2007 was the autobuyer. In many of the rune stores, one or more level 3's are in trade with the store (player is busy, if you try to trade them) and every chaos and death rune is bought out as it appears. Even if they are within the luring range of a monster, they have probably already been there long enough not to be bothered by it. Jagex reacted by updating all shops, giving the shops infinite stocks of items, but with increased prices. As a result, autobuyers are now extremely rare, if they even exist anymore.
  • May 1st - 2007 Jagex announced a massive crackdown on macros. They also made the discovery that many bots and borgs are actually East Asian (especially Chinese) players working for sweatshops that sold these resources for real world cash in violation of Rule 12.
  • July 8th - The price of willow logs has decreased from 30 coins to 20 coins.
  • Early November 2007 - Willow log prices decreased from 20 coins to 10-15 coins.
  • Late November 2007 - Lobsters have dropped from 250 coins to around 220-230 coins, though it's not uncommon to see people still buying and selling them at 250 each.
  • December 10 2007 - A game update was made which gave a big blow to real world trading. The update eliminated unbalanced trades by making the net worth of the traded items have a 3k limit within each other, therefore making it nearly impossible to deliver gold or any items to players in game (the update also eliminated any covert methods of trading such as Duel Arena). As a result, nearly every type of bot has disappeared from the game, including woodcutting bots (nearly every f2p yew and willow tree is vacant now). The only bots that haven't disappeared are Green Dragon bots, though the numbers of them have decreased dramatically.
  • Mid December 2007 - Because nearly all of the macros are now gone, the prices of various items have climbed back up, as the market is no longer getting flooded by them. The prices of raw sharks have risen from 700ea to about 900ea, and willow logs have risen from 10-15 coins to approx 25 coins. It is not known but possibly likely that the prices will continue to rise.
  • Mid May 2010 - Willow logs are now only 9 coins each. Sharks have risen to about 1k-2k.

Jagex's Reaction

This view changed on May 1st 2007 after Jagex announced a crackdown on bots. Jagex stated that they ban over 8,000 macro accounts a week (at that time). This thread on the official forums was created by Mod Jon H in response to players complaining about bots on the forums. It includes a way to report large amounts of suspected rule breakers at a time. [1]

On the 17th July 2007 under game play improvements removed the Axe Head event.
On 11 June 2009, Jagex announced a zero-tolerance policy for macroing, stating that any and all accounts caught macroing will be instantly and permanently banned, with no chance for appeals of any type.
The Zero-Tolerance seems to not be in place anymore, as of sometime in late 2009. Instead, they seem to have implemented a three-strike policy. The length of the ban depends on which 'strike' it is. For the first offence, the length is 14 days, then 21 days for the second offence, then a permanent ban for the third.
On 15 December 2010, Jagex implemented an additional punishment that they may issue to players they catch macroing: XP rollbacks. These are often applied on the first or second macroing offences. When applied, an XP rollback removes all experience gain that was macroed, plus a sizable chunk of extra experience as additional punishment. Furthermore, any earned wealth as a result of the macroed experience will be deleted. This new punishment is mainly intended to "hit cheaters where it hurts" and show them the consequences of using unauthorised macroing software.

The Big Counter-Attack

Main article: ClusterFlutterer


On 25 October 2011, Jagex implemented a new anti-macro measure called Project ClusterFlutterer. This is is widely regarded as their biggest and most effective anti-macro measure to date, having stopped at least 98% of all bots from working on the RuneScape client (according to Jagex). The project is popularly referred to as the 'bot nuke' as a direct result.

Aftermath

Currently, many of the parties which hitherto engaged in real world trading have now resorted to providing third-party training services to players who are too impatient to level their skills on their own.

As a result of Project ClusterFlutterer, many well-known macroing websites have announced that they would cease their operations.

See also

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