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The AutoHotKey Thread


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#41 arison

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:56 PM

Finally got blue confirmation... repeating is bannable. Quote Malkorix:

This is not okay. One hardware function = one action, according to standard macro rules. A hardware function is a keypress (including press/release) associated with movement and an ability/item. Obviously, our default macro rules enable you to use 'modifying' trinkets or abilities, such as nature's swiftness, plus a single spell all in a single press.

To clarify: No, you may not use hardware or software to auto-spam your shot rotations - period.


WoW Forums -> Seeking Blue clarification: key repeating

And that's that.

#42 GoG

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:40 PM

Auto spamming shot rotations implies having a script perform multiple operations. I could program my g15 to cast a perfect CL to Lbolt rotation for my shaman (up until blood lust.) If you want perfect clarification, ask if you can use Auto hot key to press the 1 key over and over. That's all you need to know.

In regards to lag issues with your client. I advise against running a macro every 1 millisecond. I think you have to live with the error messages and ugly UI ramifications of using Auto hot key to spam.

#43 whave

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:15 AM

The problem is, day by day, they confirm something.

"It's ok if you just spam one key"
"It's ok if you are sitting there, pressing the key, no automated actions"
"OMG go get carpel tunnel or I'll break your hand with my banhammer"

We have seen all so far. No news of anyone being banned for using AHK so far. As I'm one of the carpal tunnel 'losers' who can't perform good without physical pain OR 'turbobutton' help, I hope there won't be any...

#44 Wodahs

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:37 PM

Auto spamming shot rotations implies having a script perform multiple operations. I could program my g15 to cast a perfect CL to Lbolt rotation for my shaman (up until blood lust.) If you want perfect clarification, ask if you can use Auto hot key to press the 1 key over and over. That's all you need to know.

In regards to lag issues with your client. I advise against running a macro every 1 millisecond. I think you have to live with the error messages and ugly UI ramifications of using Auto hot key to spam.


"The G15 may have the ability to continually activate an ability as long as you keep the key pressed but that is not a function that is permitted by our policies. "

Thats a pretty cut and dry, clear, concise answer. So that would make ahk illegal as well.

#45 Kegsta

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 03:13 PM

Punkbuster will detect AHK and kick you from the server if you forget to close it before playing other games, BF2 for me.

Has anyone seen a noticable difference between using a macro with /use 13 in it and one just using the standard spell? my laginfo was giving me 5-20ms when just using the spell but around 30-50 when using a macro. might have been a coincidence tho, and im not to sure how reliable laginfo is.

#46 Praetorian

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 03:21 PM

It's one of those things that's hard for me to wrap my head around. I mean, I'm a healer. I have a G15 keyboard but I have zero macros for it -- I own the keyboard for the LCD display to see exactly who's talking on vent and when I get tells/queue while alt-tabbed, and my "G keys" do things like make WMP or Windows Calculator open. This rule doesn't affect me at all. And I generally follow Blizzard's rules/ToU fully, and I don't want to get into a position of advocating for something that Blizzard says is illegal, but it's hard for me to swallow such a thin distinction.

Spamming 2 really hard, many times a second: Legal
Spinning your mousewheel to generate lots of inputs per second: Legal
Holding down 2, sparing yourself carpal tunnel, to generate lots of inputs per second: Not legal?

Basically, I understand the reason for the policy. If they say you can use AHK or G15 or whatever to make holding down a key cause multiple keypresses, then they've just allowed scripted AFKing. Make your spacebar repeat, put a roll of coins on it, and walk away, to use the simplest example. And if they punished someone for it, that person could just say "wtf, you guys said it was legal to have repeater keys...." So I see why they have the policy.

I still feel like the reasonable thing to do is to follow the spirit of the rule. If they allow the software (and they have to, unless they want to ban people who have Logitech's keyboard drivers running, which would be a terrible idea) then I don't see how they could possibly ever detect someone who holds down 2 vs. someone who mashes 2 really quickly (assuming you have a Sleep interval built in and aren't generating thousands of events per second or something).

#47 Macblade

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 04:09 AM

This might be unnecessary to point out, but I imagine there is a direct relationship between the number of people Bliz catches using the "roll of coins" trick and the extent to which they eventually crack down on this. So as long as people aren't abusing it, Blizz probably won't have to do anything heavy handed. Thus, while I'm sure the every reader of the EJ forums is a truely enlightened individual that has nothing but respect for fellow man and the rule of law, don't get lazy and start doing stuff that will ruin it for the rest of us.

#48 whave

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:00 AM

"The G15 may have the ability to continually activate an ability as long as you keep the key pressed but that is not a function that is permitted by our policies. "

Thats a pretty cut and dry, clear, concise answer. So that would make ahk illegal as well.


...and we have seen numerous answers just in the past week which clearly says it's legal if YOU are pressing the button, not a roll of coins.

I think it's pretty obvious that the only place where you can use buttonspamming as an exploit, are the battlegrounds to avoid AFK and leech points. And leeching points has been punished so far, no matter what the method was.

How do you abuse this while farming? How do you abuse this in an arena match? How do you abuse this in PvE environment? By not feeling the 'intended pain' in your wrist? :) They should see (and judge) the difference if they browse through some back-office reports on how many players are using AHK.

#49 Mightydre

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:28 PM

One problem I had was accidentally hitting the Windows Start key and having WoW minimize for the Start Menu. I did a search a while ago, and found this gem:

; This relies on the fact that a Control keystroke "disguises" your release of the LWin key,
; which prevents the OS from displaying the Start Menu.
~LWin up::Send {Blind}{Ctrl}

It'll block the Start key from minimizing you out, but it won't break other hotkeys that use it (such as Start+E for Explorer), which is the exact behavior I was looking for. Enjoy.

#50 Skyhoof

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 05:59 PM

Here's the best blue response I've seen so far on the issue:

WoW Forums -> Seeking Blue clarification: key repeating

You cannot use AHK or the G15 keyboard to spam a single key -- even if you are sitting at the keyboard and just want to prevent your finger from falling off or keyboard breaking.

You can use a G15 keyboard but only to have more keys available to which you can bind macros, etc.

So, this leaves me wondering:

1) Will they ban the AHK? Or will they simply monitor for AHK-like activity to also catch G15 keyboard users? Or is this just too low of a priority for Blizzard? I would hope they would be more concerned about violations that actually impact the game, rather than some guy spamming his shot rotation. But perhaps someone with a technical background could give us more insight into what would be easy to catch and what would be difficult to detect. For example, the macro mentioned earlier in the thread to hide your UI and then take a screen shot. That would seem impossible to detect. However, my spam of Healing Wave to test the proc rate on a meta gem for hours would seem easy to detect. And spamming a shot rotation during a raid would seem to fall in the middle of the two extremes.

2) Does this mean that you also can't use AHK to multi-box? Can you multi-box without AHK?


Here's the pertinent sections of the Blizzard post. The Blue responses are from Malkorix.

Hello Blizzard,

After unsuccessfully attempting to get clarification via an in-game ticket, I would like to see if the rules can be clarified regarding key repeating software. In light of recent bans, it is unclear what is or isn't allowed, and bearing in mind the majority of players want to follow the rules, it would be of great help if a statement could be made regarding key repeating software.

Previously, the apparent community understanding had been: if it doesn't automate gameplay, and requires you to be present at the keyboard playing the game, then it is legal. It seems with recent bans, this may not actually be the case.

My specific question is: is it okay to use software (or hardware drivers, or external hardware devices) that continually repeat ("spam") a key bound in-game to a macro or ability while another key is held down and while a player is present at the keyboard playing the game? For Hunters, for instance, spamming our shot rotation macro. I'm sure other classes have similar needs, perhaps not 10-20 times per second like a Hunter, but the same idea. Many aspects of the game make key spamming desirable, but is it legitimate to use external drivers/software to achieve it?

I'd love to not have to break my keyboard, fingers, and wrist to achieve maximum DPS, but I would also hate to wake up one morning and find I was banned for using a repeater. Please help myself and other Hunters follow the rules :)


This is not okay. One hardware function = one action, according to standard macro rules. A hardware function is a keypress (including press/release) associated with movement and an ability/item. Obviously, our default macro rules enable you to use 'modifying' trinkets or abilities, such as nature's swiftness, plus a single spell all in a single press.

To clarify: No, you may not use hardware or software to auto-spam your shot rotations - period.


The G15 has been supported by Blizzard in the past, I must have missed it when they changed their minds. :(


I use a G15. Using the G15 macro functions to create macros which incorporate delays, or otherwise use multiple abilities that each have a global cooldown on a single keypress has never been supported. It is automation, and is against our policies listed here:

Terms of Use, Part 4, Section B
WoW -> Legal -> Terms of Use

How To Stay In The Game (Part 2 of 2)
http://us.blizzard.c...articleId=21507

This thread in our CS Forum Information Haven!, to which I've replied previously, may help illuminate the issue for you:

G15 Keyboard Legality
WoW Forums -> Need official response regarding Logitech G15
WoW Forums -> G15 keyboard and bans

The G15 may have the ability to continually activate an ability as long as you keep the key pressed but that is not a function that is permitted by our policies.



#51 arison

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 06:19 PM

1) Will they ban the AHK? Or will they simply monitor for AHK-like activity to also catch G15 keyboard users? Or is this just too low of a priority for Blizzard? I would hope they would be more concerned about violations that actually impact the game, rather than some guy spamming his shot rotation. But perhaps someone with a technical background could give us more insight into what would be easy to catch and what would be difficult to detect. For example, the macro mentioned earlier in the thread to hide your UI and then take a screen shot. That would seem impossible to detect. However, my spam of Healing Wave to test the proc rate on a meta gem for hours would seem easy to detect. And spamming a shot rotation during a raid would seem to fall in the middle of the two extremes.


So I'm the original poster of the lovely thread asking for clarification because I wanted to understand what was considered bannable or not. I mean, I hate spamming my mouse wheel, but I'd rather play by the rules. Sadly, the clarification pretty much makes it clear; spamming is bad. But can you get caught, as you ask?

Yes, I think you can, pretty easily. First, they can tell if the software is running. Maybe that's not bannable, but they can look for patterns of gameplay. People fixate on the idea blizzard could never tell you were spamming an ability because network latency would make the data hit their servers at inconsistent times, which is true, but completely ignores the fact they control the game client; in other words, they could watch for the repeating keys in the client code to measure average time between presses, etc. Likewise, for AHK, ControllerMate, G15 keyboards, etc, they also could look into the software's configuration to see if it has WoW-specific settings. How accurately they could nail, say, a key repeat spammer vs a mousewheel spammer is unclear, but I imagine it is doable (since mouse wheel spamming tends to have a large number of presses then a momentary pause as you move your finger back to repeat).

Of course, that's all pretty far fetched. I mean, they could do those things, but would they catch real cheaters that way? The ones who actually imbalance the game with 5 minute long macros wandering around AV? I dunno. I can't speak to their internal priorities about what kind of cheaters they are looking to catch. All I know is I don't want to get banned, or have anything on my account that could be a problem down the road, so now I'm doing horrible mouse wheel spamming instead (which probably gets me more presses per second than repeating software would but is much less convenient). I imagine their stern policy is because it's hard to bless some uses and not others in a consistent way the real cheaters couldn't plausibly hide between, so they throw the baby out with the bathwater.

#52 Pixen

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 05:32 PM

I mean as far as shot rotations go, it's sad that optimal hunter dps gameplay basically boils down to mashing one key as fast as humanly possible. This probably would not be the case if it weren't for the macro system in the first place, which obviously grants us a lot of flexibility and is a bit of a double edged sword in that regard. Still, it seems odd to ban somebody for trying to alleviate the physical stress (carpal tunnel, repetitive stress disorder, broken keyboards) caused by poor game design. That's a whole separate issue though.

As far as cheating in WoW goes, this is probably way, way down the totem pole of bannable offenses. Still, it's much easier just to ban people for circumventing their system than it is to consider why they might be doing this in the first place. I'm glad I found that post though, because I certainly will be more mindful of my g15 usage in the future.

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#53 Furion

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:07 AM

As most useful things which can be done with AHK seems to be against the rules I'd like to express my anger about a few things which apparently cause the need for AHK in the first place.

For me the problem lies within the concept of WoW and mainly raiding, which expects you to put out your optimal damage/tank rotations for several hours straight, which is just unhealthy (strain on Hands and Fingers, hours of additional sitting after work/school whatever) and unfun (repetitive and thus boring) from my view. We need nothing less than a revolution of the game concept and the way your commands are translated to the game as macro spamming is really just a band-aid to ease this pain.

I think the desperation caused by this really drives many people to use macro spamming means and I can't really morally blame anyone for it(as it's probably good for their health and doesn't harm anyone), even though it goes against the game's rules.

As there is no moral reason to not use macros the only thing keeping people from using this is the risk of punishment. But there is always going to be a "grey zone" where we can expect to not be punished, the question is just how far you are willing to go with the risk. Back in the days when I leveled my warrior I used to charge a mob and do something else like read a book until the mob died, as spamming my moves didn't seem to make enough of a difference to be worth the trouble (Yes, leveling a warrior was THAT boring, even though it was my first character as there was way to little challenge and way too much repetition). This kind of thing can be done even without any Addons or other means out of WoW. And it would be pretty crazy to ban for this kind of behaviour, although it could well be called "unattended gameplay" and it might be actionable.

#54 manly

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 04:34 PM

As most useful things which can be done with AHK seems to be against the rules I'd like to express my anger about a few things which apparently cause the need for AHK in the first place.

For me the problem lies within the concept of WoW and mainly raiding, which expects you to put out your optimal damage/tank rotations for several hours straight, which is just unhealthy (strain on Hands and Fingers, hours of additional sitting after work/school whatever) and unfun (repetitive and thus boring) from my view. We need nothing less than a revolution of the game concept and the way your commands are translated to the game as macro spamming is really just a band-aid to ease this pain.

I think the desperation caused by this really drives many people to use macro spamming means and I can't really morally blame anyone for it(as it's probably good for their health and doesn't harm anyone), even though it goes against the game's rules.

As there is no moral reason to not use macros the only thing keeping people from using this is the risk of punishment. But there is always going to be a "grey zone" where we can expect to not be punished, the question is just how far you are willing to go with the risk. Back in the days when I leveled my warrior I used to charge a mob and do something else like read a book until the mob died, as spamming my moves didn't seem to make enough of a difference to be worth the trouble (Yes, leveling a warrior was THAT boring, even though it was my first character as there was way to little challenge and way too much repetition). This kind of thing can be done even without any Addons or other means out of WoW. And it would be pretty crazy to ban for this kind of behaviour, although it could well be called "unattended gameplay" and it might be actionable.

The problem is simple. There is no server-side spell queue. If they were to put that, one day, then all spamming techniques would be rendered useless.
<Eej> YOU"RE GONNA PULL
<Eej> IF YOU SQUEEZE OFF ANOTHER ARCANE BLAST
<Spectear> You've obviously never played with Manly.
<Spectear> That's hardly a reason to stop DPS.
Very Manly Staff

#55 mikebro

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 07:29 PM

Not related to AutoHotKey itself, but the idea of not having to key mash... Logitech has a series of mice that have something called 'Hyper-fast Scrolling' where you mousewheel can spin freely for up to something like 7 seconds instead of typical 1 spin 1 click type deal. Does anyone have experience with a mouse that has this type of scroll? I'm curious if it generates tons of mouse wheel up/down key presses that you could use similar to the spamming mouse wheel up/down now but not as tedious.

Example of 1 of them: http://www.logitech....s/130&cl=ca,en#

#56 BOHIC

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:13 PM

I haven't seen anything mentioned that would prevent you from using AHK spamming as long as you physically release the key after each action your character takes. This should be functionally the same as you can release and then hold the key down again within the GCD, but it doesn't violate the one press/one action rule. I can't imagine Blizzard taking issue with this either since it keeps you at your keyboard.

#57 whave

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 07:50 AM

Blizzard sent a warning notification at the login screen for players who were running WowModelEdit. I guess they will do the same to AHK if they will be getting more strict on this subject, not just banhammer us without any notice.

#58 Cadfael

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:51 AM

Blizzard sent a warning notification at the login screen for players who were running WowModelEdit. I guess they will do the same to AHK if they will be getting more strict on this subject, not just banhammer us without any notice.


Interesting, I had never heard that Blizzard warns people before they take action. So after a quick google I found this screenshot:

http://img369.images...08222343cp7.jpg

Seemingly they don't want to ban outright at the current time. But it should be clear enough at this time that they don't want people using it and probably will at some point.

#59 What Do I Type Here?

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 09:00 PM

Hi, would anyone be willing to modify the standard code (or tell me how) to allow modifiers such as control/shift/alt?

Regarding legality:
First of all, this is absolutely the type of thing that you would never just outright receive a 'no questions asked' ban for, atleast at this point in time where the 'rules' haven't even come close to being defined. Every time someone in this thread has cited a GM response, it has been vague and obviously based on the idea that is is being used to completely automate a number of things.

edit: I figured it out
for example: alt+4
$!4::
   Loop  
   {
    if not GetKeyState("4", "P")
      break
     Send {Alt Down}4{Alt Up}
     sleep 1
    }
return
notice the ! infront of the initial 4

#60 Tymir

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:57 AM

~*1::
Loop
{    
   GetKeyState, 1State, 1, P
   If 1State = U
   Break
   Else
   Send {!}
   Sleep, 5
}
Return

For Shift-1 I use this script. I'm not sure what you should put in place of "!" if you were writing an equivalent script except with an Alt or Ctrl modifier.




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