What do you think of my guide (timeline of bots in 2020)?

Mitsune

Poster
=(e)=
Intro: I am working on a simple, small project, an unreleased Steam guide which has something like a recap and timeline about cheating bots in TF2. It is pretty basic right now, but it might become an interesting read for new players in the future. I just think 2020 is an interesting year, and I want to record what happened so far. It also gives me something to do. Feel free to criticize or add information with sources. (I prefer not using popular Youtubers.) Let me know what you think.

Update: I already released my Steam guide (working link) some time ago, but I don't feel motivated to do much with it anymore unless I find new, reliable information to record.

A Summary of Events in 2020

7 April 2020, Steam News: "Team Fortress 2 Update Released." Before Valve "fixed a server crash exploit" on 7 April, there had been aim bots commonly called "lag bots" that crashed Casual matchmaking servers whenever players tried to vote-kick them. They had existed before 2020, but they became such a significant problem after the COVID-19 lockdowns started that they made Casual matchmaking servers unplayable. Thus, Valve was forced to resolve the issue. Despite the fix, some players continued to report the presence of lag bots for some months after April. (I could not verify this information.)

8 April 2020, PC Gamer: "Team Fortress 2 is under attack by bots, and not the fun kind." The article goes into more detail about the encounters that some players including the PC Gamer writer had with lag bots.

13 April 2020, YouTube (Random Ryan's channel): "TF2 Micspam Bot 'I’m gonna camp!'" Random Ryan's video provides an example of an infamous bot that mic spams the "I'm gonna camp!" song.


23 April 2020, PC Gamer: "Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO source code leaks, Valve says there's no reason to be alarmed." On 22 April, the news from Steam Database (not affiliated with Valve) of a source code leak of CSGO and TF2 caused mass panic in the TF2 community. Community groups like my clan closed down their community servers out of concern of security vulnerabilities. Fortunately, Valve has stated that there is nothing to fear:
Originally posted by Valve:
We have reviewed the leaked code and believe it to be a reposting of a limited CS:GO engine code depot released to partners in late 2017, and originally leaked in 2018. From this review, we have not found any reason for players to be alarmed or avoid the current builds (as always, playing on the official servers is recommended for greatest security).
As far as I know, there is no evidence that the source code leak has anything to do with the aim bots.

As far as I know, there is no evidence that the source code leak has anything to do with the aim bots.

5 June 2020, TF2 Reddit: "I made a tool to automatically identify and votekick cheaters/bots in casual." Pazer revealed his tool that purportedly makes vote-kicking bots and cheaters more convenient. Some controversy over his tool ensued in the TF2 Steam forum. In response to Pazer's tool, some bots' maker also named their bots after Pazer in an attempt to ruin his reputation.

10 June 2020, Kotaku: "Racist Spam Bots Are Running Rampant In Team Fortress 2." Myg0t bots (spelled "MYG)T" in game), aim bots that spam racist messages via text chat, had been running around Casual matchmaking servers for a long while before the article was published. However, I suspect that the increase in media attention and players' complaints may had pushed Valve towards the development of a chat filter on Steam or accelerated it if Valve was already working on it.

16 June 2020, Steam News: "Team Fortress 2 Update Released." Valve restricted "certain new accounts from using chat in official matchmaking modes" and said that it is working "to mitigate the use of new and free accounts for abusive purposes." Basically, the update made new Free (free-to-play) accounts lose the ability to use text chat in Valve servers.

24 June 2020, Steam News: "Team Fortress 2 Update Released." Valve implemented "rate limit checks for in-game text chat" and restricted Free players from changing their in-game name in Valve servers. The first part means that people should not be able to spam text chat anymore, though some still find ways to clear text chat by using special characters.

3 July 2020, Steam News: "Team Fortress 2 Update Released." If disabling the ability of Free accounts to use text chat was not enough, Valve also disabled their ability to use voice chat in Valve servers. I suppose this is why I no longer hear bots mic spamming, though, of course, this does not prevent bots and players with Premium status from mic spamming.

27 August 2020, Steam News: "Chat Filtering, Now in Beta through Steam Labs." Steam chat filtering started beta.

5 September 2020, GameSpot: "Team Fortress 2 Players Have Created Terminators To Hunt Down Cheaters."[www.gamespot.com] I do not remember encountering any anti-bot bot made by Bot Extermination Services, so I do not know much about it. According to Vice, this type of anti-bot bots was short-lived and eventually superseded by someone else's anti-bot bots. (See below for more information.)

6 October 2020, Steam News: "Chat Filtering Now Available on Steam." Steam chat filtering exited beta.

13 October 2020, Vice News: "Meet the Guy Fixing Team Fortress 2's Bot Problem...With More Bots."[www.vice.com] By the time of its publication, the article is old news as this guy's anti-bot bots had been around for some time before October. The guy goes by the name Milenko, the person whose bots replaced the ones of Bot Extermination Services. Unlike the latter's bots, the former's bots that I have encountered so far as of November only sat in the spawn room and flagged hostile aim bots via text chat for their team to vote-kick.

Notes:
  • I haven't seen Milenko's anti-bot bots after early November 2020, and I don't know why. But one possible reason is that the cheating bots kept impersonating Milenko's bots.
  • In case anybody is wondering, I want to make it clear that I do not support the use of aim bots to fight other aim bots. All the aim bots must go.

First edit: Changed some wording and added 24 June 2020 Steam News entry.
Second edit: Updated some notes, fixed some spelling, and added working links.
Third edit: Corrected some info and added 3 July 2020 Steam News entry.
 
Last edited:

Mernkale

I made one post
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Accurate from what ive seen
 

Ledzo

EGO Is My Life!
=(eGO)=
Who has the frickin time to create such monsters?! Go back to school and do something out of your real life ! I hate all these punks

thanks @Mitsune !
 

Hotdogs

The following is for mature audiences only.
Manager
Looks right to me
 

Mitsune

Poster
=(e)=
Although I don't expect to work on this guide in the foreseeable future anymore, I made some slight changes including working links for your convenience.

Perhaps someone else in the future will find some use in my guide and write something better. In any case, thank you EGO for good community servers.
 
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