TG Daily interview: Chat with a World of Warcraft bot programmer

Do humans play like robots?

TG Daily: Do you think there is any truth to human game-playing become robot-like? I know that when I solo around.. it's basically charge, heroic strike X 5 or more, bloodthirst and finally execute. I also tend to go to the same areas and kill the same mobs.

Mercury: Definitely, for the leveling part of the game. Every player has a set progression of moves and they only change gradually as you gain new skills, talents, and gear. Once you have your optimal set, you rarely deviate. I knew I had to do something to automate it after the nth Immolate/Corruption/Curse/Drain pull.

TG Daily: Looking through the WoWglider forums, when GMs starting teleporting players you added teleport detection. In addition, it looks like you added GM whisper detection also. Regarding the cat and mouse game that is played by Blizzard and the GMs, how have your countermeasures evolved?

Mercury: If it's a cat and mouse game, then the cat must be one of those new hunter pets with stealth, since we never see it coming. But one of the few advantages we have is our size. So when we learn of a change in the detection procedure that GM's follow or a change in the Warden code, we can react very quickly. Compared to the game, Glider is a tiny, tiny piece of code. I can apply a change, test it, document it, and deploy it in a matter of 20-30 minutes. Blizzard has to move much slower.

TG Daily: Would you recommend this program to people who are just starting WoW? I can definitely see the use of this for people who already a level 60 and don't want to do everything over for an alternate character.

Mercury: Your answer is the same as mine. In the FAQ on our site and when anyone asks, I always discourage new players from using Glider. All that 1-60 content is pretty fun, for both factions. And skipping it with Glider is just a shame. If anything, I'd say not to use Glider until you've leveled a character of both factions to 60. Those last few levels can get pretty grindy, though, once you've exhausted your quests, so maybe a bit of skip is in order.

I really think if Blizzard had some way of allowing a veteran player to level new characters faster, they would have higher retention of subscriptions - and probably no Glider to contend with. Those players have already done all the basic stuff, they just need a new 60 for their guild's MC raid or to play around in BG's. A fresh level 60 character in all greens isn't really that valuable, but takes a lot of work to make.