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What's Playing Your Video Game?
For thousands of gamers, playing a MMORPG is a way of life and many hours a day can be consumed trying to reach in-game goals. Even when the focus of a player's time is rewarded, there is always something else ready and waiting for them to work towards. It's a vicious circle that can affect real life commitments and even relationships.
"There's always something to do in World of Warcraft," states Jon Hazell, a MMORPG player of ten years. And just when you think the game content has dried up, a new expansion is released and off you go again. It's endless and the time you need to spend in-game to remain current and competitive is considerable. I dread to think how many hours I've spent playing WOW!"
The commitment required to keep up with MMORPG content is often echoed by the partners of players:
"My husband has played WOW off and on for five years and lately I feel completely alone in life," claims stvbabygirl on a SteadyHealth.com forum post titled 'Divorce because of husband's computer games addiction'. "I cry myself to sleep at night and wake up alone because he is on the game."
Time spent playing MMORPGs is normally split between a multitude of activities some of which are deemed repetitive and mundane but necessary to progress. To counter this, some gamers use third-party applications known as bots to automate their gameplay. This type of software performs typically tedious tasks, leaving players with more time for real life commitments or to enjoy aspects of the game they deem to be exciting.
"I used a bot," states Hazell. "It played my WOW character for me. I'd go to bed and by the time I'd woken up I'd acquired thousands of gold (WOW's in-game currency), gained a few levels or improved my reputation with a particular faction. Basically it did all the things I hated doing!"
Blizzard, the developer of WOW, has banned and suspended tens of thousands of players over the years and has even taken bot makers to court in an attempt to put a halt to the development of their software.
With so many people being banned or suspended for using bots, some players are turning to less sophisticated yet safer methods of automating their gameplay. Auto clicker programs are being used to alleviate certain mundane and time consuming tasks found in MMORPGs. This software works by "pressing" keys and mouse buttons just like a real player but, unlike bots, auto clickers don't alter game memory, CPU processes or files.
Although auto clickers aren't as sophisticated as bots, they are capable of automating a multitude of in-game tasks. Indeed, the developer of an auto clicker called Chimpeon (https://chimpeon.com), claims its software can complete repetitive tasks, perform attack rotations, prevent AFK, accept on-screen notifications, and much more. It even includes features that make the automation of games more human-like (and less detectable) by randomizing the order and frequency of when a key or mouse button is "pressed".
Williams continues: "Many players want to maximise their game time doing the things they enjoy. They don't want to spend hours killing thousands of mobs in the hope a particular item drops. They don't want to level their characters by performing kill this, collect that quests they've seen countless times before. They want the fun without the humdrum, and that's what Chimpeon provides."
Indeed, what is often deemed fun in games like WOW is taking part in raids where players team up to conquer vast dungeons and their minions. It's this activity that auto clickers are also great for assisting gamers with.
"Raiding involves using all your character's skills and abilities to dispatch deadly dungeon foes," explains Williams. "Easy as it sounds, it's often not, and with enemies fighting back with an array of lethal attacks, players can get overwhelmed just trying to keep their character alive let alone fight effectively. Chimpeon can be used to automatically perform an almost flawless attack rotation leaving the player to concentrate on positioning their character and the mechanics of an encounter."
Despite the distaste of auto clickers by game developers, it's clear their time saving benefits, their ability to negate repetitive and mundane tasks, their capacity to assist with gameplay, and the relative safety of using them will ensure their continued use.
Williams concludes: "We hope using Chimpeon enables gamers to spend less time playing a game and more time partaking in real life commitments and activities. Maybe it'll even help save a relationship or two as well!"
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