Amazon Games' MMO New World has had a successful first week, attracting just under a million players in its first weekend. Success, of course, attracts the vultures: the bloodsuckers that lie in wait for the merest sniff. I'm talking of course about bots, long the bane of any MMO worth botting, which are generally configured to grind out in-game currency in an efficient way in order to flog it to players.
Well, the New World has its pioneering bots and the activity they're drawn towards is fishing: specifically, catching rare fish (thanks, Icy Veins). For some reason the bots are uniquely suited to this activity because they can tell when a cast will land a normal or a rare fish—and if it's the former, they immediately yank back their rod.
As you can see, these rod-yanking parties are going on all over the place and can be really quite annoying.
Naturally some players aren't waiting around for Amazon Games to fix the problem, and have taken matters into their own hands (with a little help from nature). A classic player tactic is to drag enemy mobs into bots which, because they're bots and only concerned about fishing, results in the slow and unprotested killing of the bot. Here we see a noble boar set to the task.
There are reports on the New World subreddit of bots engaging in other activities such as mining, but at the moment their behaviour seems overwhelmingly focused on catching those rare fish. It should go without saying that, if my experiences in WoW are anything to go by, fishing can be an extremely profitable activity, and no doubt there are already dirty bot-masters out there rolling in lucre. We'll have to wait and see what impact (if any) this has on New World's in-game economy.
I'm not saying that PCG's own Chris is a bot, but he's been suspiciously hooked on the fishing and crafting ever since New World came out. If you're curious about the game here's our review-in-progress (TL;DR: it's complicated) and here's an interview with the head of Amazon Games on the launch.
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Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."