Runescape puts botters on trial in Botany Bay and lets players decide their fate

Runescape devs, Jagex, made it clear that they're determined to stomp out all botting with a massive account nuke last year that banned 1.5 million bot accounts in one day. The battle continues with a new initiative that will name and shame cheaters in an open court setting.

"From today, any player caught botting will be given two warnings to allow them to change their ways, after which they will be permanently banned from the game - with no appeals," say Jagex. "At each warning stage the botter's avatar will change to signify to the rest of the community that they have been caught botting. After receiving their second and final warning should they break the rules again, the bot avatar will be transferred to a new area called Botany Bay to await the judgment of the community."

When a bot is detected, a giant dragon hand will descend from the sky and point at the avatar so that players in the vicinity will know of their guilt. After a series of temporary bans and warnings, repeat offenders will be permanently booted from the game and sent to a remote island for destruction.

Players will receive a special pitchfork item for sitting on a jury. When the inevitable GUILTY judgement is passed, they'll get to vote on the method by which the bot avatar is executed from a selection of fates that include "being stomped upon by a dragon and blasted in a ray of light from the RuneScape gods."

They also get to throw fruit at the botter as he lingers in the stocks. The event is presided over by the Botmaster General, who demean the prisoner for their slothfulness before pulling the trigger on their execution.

"We take a very hard line on cheaters in our game and have taken the unique move to name and shame those who have been breaking one of our most important rules," lead designer Mark Ogilvie explains. "We have wanted to do this for some time and we hope that by bringing the actions of those who cheat to the attention of the wider community, we can make a massive step towards eliminating botting from the game”.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.