Monday, April 8, 2013

Bots and Rogue Drones


Sentinel here.

I got a message for you. It’s about some disturbing events that may arise pretty soon. Well, what I’m gonna show you may look like some kind of contrived conspiracy theory, feel free to perceive it that way, doesn’t really matter, it’s all good.

Most of us are pretty aware of a new sort of AI technology that is used by some capsuleers, helping them amass wealth in a pretty passive way. Not sure how many of us know that these individuals have put some serious effort in developing cybernetic forms of organ attachments – something similar to the ancient concept of Positronic Brains. Such “organs” are well known to be used in developing of Androids. In our case things are a little bit different, since these capsuleers tend to use their own clones as hosts for the artificial attachments mentioned. The result is a strange symbiosis that represents human bodies with man-made cybernetic devices, implanted in their brain and other vital organs. Yes, we all call them Bots.

As these devices work together with the body organs, they use the advantages of human perceptions and activate predefined action chains, depending on present events. These Bots are programmed to take advantage of all available spaceship, planetary and starbase interface that is provided by various authorities in order to keep a good level of usability and accessibility to all the technologies used by pilots and citizens of New Eden. Having such power, Bots can adapt to various situations, more or less, taking decisions, surviving in dangerous places and so on. In general – they imitate actual capsuleers and even fly their spaceships. Like humans on autopilot. Most Agents take them for real pilots and work with them, giving them Missions and rewarding them when they complete tasks. Capsuleers on the other hand can easily distinguish Bots.

If you ask me, the endeavor of creating these “artificial capsuleers” deserves admiration. We all know that being a pod pilot is not a joke. There is serious technology involved, serious weapons, serious education, great responsibilities, great danger and great opportunities. Giving this challenging life to man-made creations is… brave. Very brave. And dealing with the consequences that may arise of such actions may require iron will and personal strength.

Most of us, including me, tend to judge Botting, but I think we should try to see things through the eyes of the ones practicing it. I’m sure they have their own reasons, yes, life in New Eden may be very hard at times and they may find it unfair, unforgiving, and too painful to handle. Others may be just lazy or not likely to take responsibilities that would seem too heavy to them, maybe they just want to have more fun and care less. Whatever the reason, they seem to consider Bots as some valuable opportunity.

We all know that this is not the first attempt in the creation of independent self-aware machines. Some time ago an ingenious Gallentean inventor had the idea of creating super-advanced drones that could think and act on their own. This is how Rogue Drones emerged.

In the next rows I will inform you about the keen interest that Rogue Drones show to Bots. It goes wayyy beyond curiosity. Yes, there are reports, and they are no longer kept secret.

Now, I have to point out some people and the structures they represent, because, just like us, they are pretty responsible for the outcome of this Bot situation as well as many other things that form the structure of our realm and initiate many events in it.

Let’s start with CONCORD. Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command. With all their branches and authorities they do represent a significant force that aims to keep the balance and ease the tension between major Empires, Capsuleers and all other factions spread in our galaxy. It doesn't take an expert to know that they have been monitoring Bots probably since their first appearance in New Eden.

Another major force that is a fundamental part of our society is called EULA. You see, sometimes I feel like the only person who knows what this abbreviation stands for and it is Effective Unity of Licensing Authorities. Yes, all of us affectionately call it End User License Agreement, this is good and I can understand.

And we have to know that the people in this organization control and provide all the tools and technologies that we invent, produce and use in our realm, they make sure that things run smoothly, they shape the rules, they work closely with CONCORD and all the governments, and have great influence in our galaxy.

Going back to the main topic.

CONCORD has received numerous reports from different sources, describing cases of Rogue Drones capturing Capsuleers, not just their ships. Further investigation of these cases has led to some interesting discovery – all the kidnapped pilots have appeared to have implants of unknown type.

Yes, Bots. This has resulted in various events, including deceptive or aggressive behavior of some survivors that CONCORD agents attempted to interview, spectacular escape attempts, suspicious activity of some medics, working at lower levels of stations, unauthorized storage and use of non-certified technology including medical equipment and communication devices, withholding data and other activities linked to organized crime. In this case the more disturbing fact is not the criminal activity, but the Rogue Drone activity.

CONCORD agents have reported the outcome of one of their rescue operations, issued when they did observe some Rogue Drones capturing a capsuleer, suspected in botting, and their vessel in the middle of the agents’ covert investigation operation. Since the Bot Status of the suspected capsuleer hasn’t been confirmed, the rescue operation has been ordered and what they have discovered is really, really disturbing.

According to the story of the CONCORD Rescue Team captain, they have discovered a vast chamber with a view of a nearby planet, housing many vertical “cells” with oval shape. Through the egg-shaped windows of these cells, the team has seen humans, submerged in liquid, kept alive with medical technologies and handled by many small and large Rogue Drones, inside and outside the “cells”, they have been obviously conducting some form of experiment. The rescue team has managed to save some of the people.

With the progress of investigation it has been confirmed that all of the survivors have had Bot implants.

Drones kidnapping Bots, sweet, don’t you think? Apparently they find the technology implanted in these pilots very interesting and useful. Intelligence says that Drones may be capable to extract valuable data from them, including spaceship interface and structure, module structure, weapon structure, starbase details, market data, information of populated planets, city infrastructure, government structure, information about key figures of our society… the list goes on and on.

Obviously Bots appear to be the main source of insider information for the Drones and if they succeed to change the bot implant behavior protocols… they would have control on these capsuleers, which is… well… bad. Capsuleers controlled by drones. I don’t like this idea. Not to mention that all the Infantry Mercenaries that tend to use similar bot implants to semi-automatically aim their firearms with precision – the so called Aim Bots – are also exposed to these dangers.

As you may suggest, this is a great danger for the entire population of New Eden.

Rogue Drones may use Bots as a source of insider information! They can even take control over them!

There are numerous reports of increased Rogue Drone activity, even in higher security systems. New types of drones have been monitored. Some even say that there may be Rogue Drone Incursions in future.

Realizing the severity of the situation, CONCORD commanders have had meetings at all levels, discussing and defining the precautions that should be taken in order to prevent possible conflicts with the unpredictable Rogue Drones and save the lives of all the people that may eventually become their victims.

In order to do this, they will probably be aiming to control Bots in a better way so that they reduce the danger that they may represent in case Rogue Drones capture them.

Information streams say that one of the top CONCORD agents has presented a list of precautions that should be taken in order to make botting irrelevant, while at the same time letting other capsuleers and mercenaries take advantage of bots and thus contribute for keeping the drones at bay and ensuring the safety of New Eden population. Well, as some could expect, the name of this agent hasn’t been mentioned, but it doesn’t matter.  

These precautions also have the aim to protect the botting characters from being kidnapped by drones. Realizing that many of the Botters don’t take responsibility for their actions, CONCORD has decided to run a Zero Tolerance policy and prevent their activity at all costs. After all, the danger is too great to make a compromise.  

This is serious. The EULA guys will also collaborate with CONCORD to make sure that all the certified technology and tools that we use in our realm and all the services that the authorities provide to us will be at CONCORD disposal and they will be able to control and prohibit access to these services and technology in case they find individuals that represent a threat to population.

Here is the main part of the precautions that they are currently discussing and considering to take.

Bot Report Reward

A generous reward (in ISK or Aurum) given to capsuleers or mercenaries when they file a Bot Report and CONCORD agents confirm that the reported character is botting.

Universal Target Flag

CONCORD police will not protect pilots that have been flagged as bots and will encourage every capsuleer to destroy their ships regardless of the current security status of the system. Similar precaution may be taken in order to prevent Infantry soldiers use botting implants.

Assets Redistribution Flag

For as long as someone has been flagged as a bot their Assets will be automatically distributed to all actual pilots or mercenaries currently in the system that the bot is in, as well as nearby systems. Each actual capsuleer or mercenary will receive up to 100 Asset pieces regardless their type, size or volume. They will be placed in their item hangars.

Wealth Redistribution Flag

The Bot’s wallet will be reconfigured to automatically distribute all available funds to other capsuleers or mercenaries. Botters may try to disconnect their wallets from the network, but it is very likely to activate the defensive systems of the wallet and their money may be come unusable. Also the rewards that bots get from their activity will be automatically distributed to other pilots or mercenaries, depending on the bot capsuleer or mercenary status. In other words – bot’s wallets will lose their function to store currency. All incomes will be automatically distributed to others.

Clone Service Denial Flag

Botting characters will lose their cloning rights for as long as there is a proof tor their criminal activity. We all use more than one personality in New Eden. They are provided through special Accounts. For as long as someone has this flag, they will lose their current character if they get killed and in some cases they may lose the character slot as well.

Personal Warning Flag

Not just the bots, but any other character that belongs to the same account, may receive some or all of the flags mentioned above. This is how CONCORD wants to make them take personal responsibility for their actions. And if someone uses more than one Accounts, the Personal Warning Flag may migrate to their characters too, even if they are not bots.

Other precautions may be announced with time.

CONCORD keeps warning everyone that as long as they practice Botting there will be a significant chance for them to be captured by Rogue Drones. If that happens, their character may turn into a Rogue Drone and be remotely controlled by Higher Drones. And they may be conscious during that process.

Also – it is very likely for them to be kept in some Drone Hive after they have been kidnapped and Drones may hold them for a very long time, doing their experiments. They may be conscious most of the time during their captivity and they may have really unpleasant experience. Since they won’t be able to escape and transfer their personality into another clone, all other characters in their Account will remain inaccessible unless they terminate the connection to the bot (kill their character) and the character will wake up in a new clone (if they still have one, remember the Clone Service Denial Flag). Since Drones tend to compromise the cloning memory transfer device, kidnapped botting characters may lose all their skills upon termination of connection.

Yes, this may cause a lot of tears. How did we deserve Rogue Drones? How did we deserve Bots? How did Bots deserve to be kidnapped by Drones?

There may be some official news and articles, providing further details on the situation. This only serves to prove that no matter what we do, we have to take responsibility. Lessons will be learned.

You have been informed.

Have a nice day!

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