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Bot Nuke Day

This page refers to the first Bot Nuke Day.

Bot Nuke Day (Project named ClusterFlutter) was aimed to destroy most of the macros (bots) in-game. While this has been extremely effective (eliminating approximately 98% of the bots in-game), around 2% of the bots still remain, and Jagex is working on creating a second Bot Nuke, codenamed Optimus. Unfortunately, ClusterFlutterer has caused FPS lag issues and a few bugs for some players.

This update has been used to combat bots, along with other methods that Jagex has been using, such as legal procedures (as was the case with the victory against iBot) against bot developers, gold farmers, and bot users; other methods include manually banning bot accounts, encouraging players to report anyone they suspect of being a bot, and encouraging players to NOT buy gold or use bots.


Background

Since the re-introduction of Free Trade and the player-versus-player Wilderness, bots steadily increased in number, at an almost pandemic rate. Many players were leaving the game, and many more thought that Jagex had abandoned the players and that they didn't care about bots. There was a time when Jagex even admitted they were, in the long run, losing the battle against the bots.

Then, out of no where, Jagex made the announcement that ClusterFlutterer was near the end of its testing phase and that it would be implemented within a short time. This update came with much praise, but many players doubted that it would work, and that if it did end up working, it would only work for a short time.


Launch and Impact

On the day of release, ClusterFlutterer effectively and immediately destroyed all reflection and injection bots, which constituted approximately 98% of the bots in the game. At RuneFest 2011, Mark Gerhard (the CEO of Jagex) said to the players that since its release, ClusterFlutterer had banned around 7.7 million accounts that were used for botting, and that by October 30th, another 4-5 million accounts would be banned.


Fallout and Aftermath

According to Mark Gerhard, the new system is banning around one thousand bot accounts a minute. However, where there were usually 100-200 thousand accounts logged in at nearly all times in-game, after the update, those numbers dropped down to an average of 70-90 thousand users on at a time. Over time, as more and more new players sign up, the numbers have increased back to around 100 thousand users on at a time.

When Jagex first released this update, the game was down for around an hour because of last-minute testing that they had to perform on the software. This was performed in order to ensure that the software didn't have any loopholes.

Jagex hosted a series of weekend bonus events to celebrate this massive leap in the fight against bots. These events included triple XP for Slayer on Tuesday (the day of Bot Nuke's release), triple Castle Wars tickets on Wednesday, bonus XP on some Distractions and Diversions on Thursday, and triple zeal points from Soul Wars on Friday.

Being that the release of this update coincided with RuneFest, Jagex hosted a "Breaking the Bots" insider session, where many key executives from Jagex spoke about the update and answered questions. The speakers in this session included Mark Gerhard, Daniel Clough (Chief Operations Officer), and Richard Murray (Chief Customer Officer).

After the update, many players started having FPS lag issues. These issues have been acknowledged by Jagex, and according to Mark Ogilvie (Mod Mark, lead developer of RuneScape), the second Bot Nuke update (Optimus) is not only another anti-bot procedure, but it also includes a complete FPS fix and optimisation.


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