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Congrats to Arkuden [130] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the May 2019 clan competition and securing a 1st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Arkuden [130]
10,580,200 (x12.04)
2 <Strung Out> El Hefe [391]
2,498,862 (x3.36)
3 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [297]
1,709,860 (x1.99)
4 <Torment> Storm of Memories [150] 1,560,223 (x1.77)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,130,621 (x1.27)
6 <Platinium Squad> jezz [372]
1,110,515 (x1.25)
7 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [336]
1,024,921 (x1.15)
8 <Metsu> teacup [100]
1,022,612 (x1.15)
9 <Silence is Golden> HML [25] 974,217 (x1.13)
10 <Waste> Eee687 [100]
974,173 (x1.09)

Also see:

Congrats to Esvrainzas [300] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the April 2019 clan competition and securing a 11th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Esvrainzas [300]
7,852,780 (x9.77)
2 <Torment> Storm of Memories [150] 4,481,353 (x5.32)
3 <Strung Out> El Hefe [389]
2,280,271 (x3.17)
4 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,156,983 (x1.34)
5 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [336]
1,131,799 (x1.31)
6 <Platinium Squad> jezz [371]
1,081,818 (x1.26)
7 <Metsu> teacup [100]
982,623 (x1.18)
8 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [296]
967,878 (x1.13)
9 <Waste> Eee687 [100]
951,578 (x1.10)
10 <Loop> Loop04 [67] 940,725 (x1.09)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Monday, April 1, 2019, 2:29:21 am (ET)

Thank you to Execute for reporting a subtle loophole that allowed instant battles in certain circumstances. I have given 3 stars as a reward in accordance with the game's responsible disclosure policy. Happy hunting to anyone this motivates. :)

In more detail, the game's default time per attempt is 800 milliseconds. This can become even less too with buffs that increase battle speed, such as the Spirit of Wolf line of buffs. Before this update, the calculation of "how long do you have to wait until you battle again?" rounded down as a way to get second-granularity timestamps. This means that, for instance, a 13.2 second battle actually only keeps your bot occupied for 13 seconds. Another example is that a 0.8 second battle keeps your bot occupied for 0 seconds. In other words, sub-second battles are actually registered as being instant by the game, potentially allowing someone to accumulate wins against multiple bots simultaneously and/or in rapid succession.

To fix this, the minimum battle time is now 1 second. The calculation still rounds down, so a 13.2 second battle will keep your bot occupied for only 13 seconds, but a 0.8 second battle will now occupy your bot for 1 second.

FWIW, I'm not aware of this ever having actually been exploited, but I still awarded stars because this is pretty subtle/sneaky and the behavior is definitely unintended. It's probably pretty hard to exploit this in practice because the battle needs to have exactly 1 attempt[*], meaning the exploiting bot needs decent intelligence to be able to regularly hit first. You also still need to actually initiate battles each time which probably wouldn't be that much faster than just waiting the extra second. A script could certainly abuse this for a lot of quick wins though.

[*] Or maybe even 2 or 3 attempts with the Spirit of Wolf III buff? I didn't test this.

Congrats to Esvrainzas [300] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the March 2019 clan competition and securing a 10th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Esvrainzas [300]
6,603,344 (x7.43)
2 <Strung Out> El Hefe [387]
2,698,421 (x3.25)
3 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [293]
2,319,645 (x2.63)
4 <Torment> Storm of Memories [150] 1,367,038 (x1.62)
5 <Silence is Golden> Kaori Momoi [192] 1,250,923 (x1.45)
6 <Peace> Boo14 [275]
1,123,952 (x1.26)
7 <Platinium Squad> jezz [371]
1,097,785 (x1.26)
8 <Reaper of souls> Tonc [354]
1,090,763 (x1.24)
9 <Waste> Eee687 [100]
1,084,736 (x1.22)
10 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,072,791 (x1.20)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Thursday, March 7, 2019, 3:10:07 am (ET)

Dragon Summoner pointed out this surprising fact[*] to me...

[*] It depends a little on how you look at things though.

First step is to find out when bots2 started. The first entry on archive.org for bots2.net is 2002-02-14, which if you then click into the version history, will show the earliest update as:

2002-01-20 -- Everything seems to work, so this will be version 2.0.

So let's conclude that bots2 started on 2002-01-20.

Next step is to find out when bots2 ended. This is doable with my old Bots Unauthorized website which tracked a lot of bots2 stats, including hourly scrapes of hall of fame data. I remembered that it was around the end of January 2010 that the game got hacked for the last time. Looking into BU, I see the 2010-01-25 stats are available, but the 2010-01-26 stats are not, so let's conclude that bots2 ended on 2010-01-25.

From the above, let's then say that bots2 ran for 2,927 days (8 years, 5 days).

Now for bots4. There are 3 possible start dates, depending on how you look at things:

  • Start of closed beta: 2010-09-29
  • Start of open beta: 2011-03-07
  • Official "release": 2011-07-01

And here's how long after each of those dates 2,928 days is (i.e. 1 day longer than bots2 ran):

And so in conclusion:

  • If you see closed beta as the start of bots4, then bots4 surpassed bots2 several months ago.
  • If you see open beta as the start of bots4, then bots4 will surpass bots2 within a week.
  • If you see the official "release" as the start of bots4, then bots4 will suprass bots2 in a few months.

Some closing remarks: It's really pretty surprising that the game is still going relatively strong after all this time. Like many of you, I was originally hooked on bots2 in the early days, drawn in by the niche game mechanics and kept around by the community aspect. It's pretty weird to still be here nearly 2 decades later. I'm thankful for everyone that's stuck around, those that have returned after breaks, and yet more that have rediscovered the game after years away. You all are the lifeblood of the game, without which this would just be a weird little ghost town. Thanks also to floR for so much of the original game design and inspiration for the majority of bots4.

It's been a blast! Here's to the next decade.

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