Ongoing Thoughts on Astral menu

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  1. #1
    glorfindelrw's Avatar Private
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    Ongoing Thoughts on Astral

    I decided to buy one month of astral "premium" access and see what it could do for me. I'll keep track of my experience here for anyone interested in this bot. I have been away from the botting scene for many years, but I was the co-founder and first programmer of Diablo II's D2BS bot, which I believe is still in use today under the care of Shepard, so I am quite familiar with botting both in design and usage. (No, I'm not interested in working on anything for NWO... no free time, and I'm super rusty.)

    (Note: I refuse to bot PvP on the grounds that its ****ing annoying to everybody else and I'm not an *******.)

    Initial Reaction:
    Created three accounts and three characters. I had some trouble with some of the activation codes being e-mailed to me were invalid links, but I was finally able to activate all three accounts by manually correcting the links once I was sent a valid one. I decided to try one rogue, one CW and one GWF. Beyond three running copies of Neverwinter, additional copies are a bit too laggy for my taste on my system. I have noticed that having all three being displayed doesn't really seem to make much difference. I manually finished all of the starting quests for each character.... a little annoying that the bot can't do this itself, but it didn't take too long.

    Levels 11-15:
    I went to the forum and downloaded the lowest level script and began running it on each character. The CW was performing the best and the GWF was struggling badly. I think he was a mistake, but I'll give him a longer shot. Initially the combat setup was a little confusing, but I figured it out and had things running correctly. Characters frequently run into walls, but usually recover. I'm skeptical about running this bot unsupervised. After a few levels I equipped some of the loot that the bot found on each character. The rogue now kills very quickly. The CW is struggling a little. The GWF is struggling badly. The rogue hit 15 at the end of the first night. The other two only managed 13ish. The end of the second night had the rogue at 16, GWF at 14 and the CW stuck at 13. I came home from work with 2 of three of the bots stuck running into a wall for presumably many hours and XP rates below 200/hour. I'm considering a re-roll to all rogues, but hoping the other two get better.

    I went and grabbed the ability to pray and used the initial astral diamonds to buy high level greens which I then sold to the vendor in an attempt to leave the bot enough money to buy potions. I gathered about 1 gold for each toon. This helped greatly, and now they've both reached level 15, but they're back to being broke after one night. I'm hoping the cleric companion will help slow the potion use to a reasonable amount.

    Levels 16-20:
    This morning before work I downloaded a setup for level 15-18 for the rogue, but it was unable to start and caused the bot to freeze or crash. There are no alternative scripts. I looked at the tutorial for setting up your own path, but the one I made on my first attempt ran very poorly with awkward movements and frequently getting stuck. Creating the path with the character being in that level range was a pain because I had to fight each group of mobs along the way which also got recorded and caused strange movements. I ran out of time and set the rogue back on the 11-15 path. After paying for a bot, I find it ridiculous that a comprehensive set of working paths are not included.

    I decided to skip the broken profile and put the rogue on the next set. Now she is almost 20, but obviously got stuck most of the night again.

    I manually finished leveling the CW and GWF from 15 to 16 and spent a little AD from praying on some gear. I skeptically let them loose on the level 20-24 area of Blackdagger Ruins. I was pleasantly surprised to see the GWF kicking ass and the CW doing pretty well too. XP/Hour is up at around 5000-8000 now. They still get stuck often, but I'm home today to keep an eye on them. Current levels: Rogue: 22; GWF: 18; CW: 17.

    Levels 21-30
    Things are going much smoother now. The pathing for this area rarely gets stuck and my characters are all able to kill the mobs which are 5 levels higher than them initially with no real trouble. I have changed the aggro and loot radius to 20 which seems to have helped stop them from getting stuck even farther. They have a vendor for this area and are finally starting to make gold while maintaining enough potions to stay alive. Levels are 25,25,27 with the rogue still in the lead. This path seems good enough that I think it'll actually keep going unattended. I'm noticing that most paths do not include a vendor, but for this particular one it was easy to add in.

    This level range ended up being the only one that was satisfactory so far. None of my characters got stuck and all of them reached 32-33 in one night. Each character also was able to generate a surplus of gold that will be needed for roughing it through harder spots.

    Levels 31-40:
    This range is going to be rough. The only included path for level 30-35 frequently runs into Ashmadi shock troopers which absolutely destroy all of my characters except, surprisingly, the control wizard who has struggled everywhere else. The level 35-40 path seems better, but is also pretty rough. The GWF seems to die pretty often. Sadly, I'm running without clerics right now because they are training for the next 3 hours... but the lower levels were just getting destroyed too quickly to help at all anyway.

    I finally got this tweaked enough to get all but the CW to 40 overnight. I completely redid all the combat profiles for each character. The CW made 38 and I'm moving her on to the next area... she just dies too much here and the higher level mobs are seemingly actually easier. To make it worse, characters spawn outside of the campfire after a death and never recover from injuries! This was the worst level area I've encountered yet even though they never really got stuck. I used a lot of gold to get past these levels.

    Levels 40-50
    Starting off in pirate's skyhold for 40-45ish and so far I'm really pleased to see that everything is running well right away. I'll need to let it run longer to be sure, but this area seems to be really good!

    A couple of the characters stopped moving at the campfire overnight and only the CW made it to 45. Of course all characters were stopped from the patch when I woke up. No deaths all night! I set them running again and got all characters to 45. I moved the GWF and Rogue on to the higher 49-54 area because I think they can handle it. I put the CW in ice spire peak till around level 48 first because I don't know if she'd handle the higher area well.

    Couldn't run the bots all night due to the patch. It wasn't fixed before work the next morning either, but the bot was running again once I got home from work. Sucked to miss out on all that leveling time!

    Levels 51-60
    All of the bots have reached the low 50s now with little incident. Since the last patch the bots have been crashing fairly frequently and its really annoying that it cannot recover from this on its own. I'm considering writing my own helper program to restart them... its such an easy thing to code it blows my mind that it isn't included unless I'm missing something. My GWF is performing very strong. I came back to 140 greater healing potions because he hasn't been using what he is picking up. I'm definitely leaning toward GWF being the best class to bot with. He has enough gold that I've bought him a horse and also made my first gold to AD profit. I was very pleased to see that the effort and money spent on this bot might pay out some soon.

    All bots have now reached 60. The last few levels were very rough on the CW and ate through a lot of gold. I manually finished off the last half bar of XP because she was out of money and dying repeatedly. The other two finished without incident other than the usual crashing and failing to release when they died.

    All said and done, it took just about one week of constant tinkering to get three characters to 60.


    Farming at 60:
    I spent some time configuring the settings to force sell stuff I don't want, but keep enchantments. I was able to partially T1 gear the GWF from the AD he made leveling. The CW was able to be fully geared in T1 pvp with AD from my main character since they're on the same server. The rogue was only able to afford one purple dagger for now. I haven't decided on a final gold farming area, but plan to make my own pathing later on. I wish the bot would track gold in the stats, but I'll try to calculate some numbers on how much gold I'm getting once I have them fine tuned for max level.

    Current Overall Impression:
    This bot is really bad at certain level ranges and requires a large investment of time spent tweaking in order to get it to run well. Make sure you pick rogue if you want to minimize the time spent. It does get stuck, but if you mess with the settings enough you can minimize that. It will not restart itself if the client crashes. This bot is dramatically overpriced considering what it is. The developer should at least be sure to have working settings out of the box for each class and level range. Running this for one character would probably require around the same amount of time as leveling by hand. It is only worthwhile for multiple characters simultaneously. Some basic features you would expect to see are missing:

    - Can't stand at fires to heal. If it doesn't spawn on the fire it can't find it.
    - Can't pray (!!!Yay! This feature was added since post was made!!!)
    - No ability to use injury kits. (This feature was added since post was made)
    - Does not change instance when stuck... this seems like an obvious solution to me. (This feature was added since post was made)
    - Poor selection of pathing included, combat scripts not included.
    - Cannot do foundry
    - Does not attempt to dodge red attacks
    - Cannot loot profession nodes, chests or anything else.
    - Can't complete any quests
    - Cannot complete beginner area
    - Cannot do professions.
    - Gold and gold/hour indicators.

    So far... buyers remorse, but hoping it gets better.

    Tips for success:
    - Don't be afraid to try higher level areas instead of bad ones at your level.
    - Pray when you can for some AD. Use it for gear upgrades as needed.
    - Take time to set range conditions on PBAOE spells. Make sure to get tab skill working on GWF!
    - If you are low on gold for potions, buy high level cheap greens from the AH with AD from praying and sell them for gold.
    - Don't forget to check each path to make sure it has a vendor added. If not, add it before you run it!
    - Keep an eye out for other people running the same path. If you see one, change instances.
    - Green vendor gear in protector's enclave is a quick way to gear up for gold.
    - Change the loot and pull distance settings!
    - Get cleric companions asap!
    Last edited by glorfindelrw; 07-02-2013 at 02:54 AM.

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  2. #2
    FattyXP's Avatar Sergeant Major CoreCoins User
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    So far, I think its the only option anyways. But honestly not many bots at all come with predetermined paths for any game, simply because its a huge amount of dev time for people that likely don't even play the game or have max level characters. Bot systems like this are all just bot frameworks modified to work with a specific game, and the developers of these bots rarely actually play these games. The only time spent in game is used to find the memory locations the bot needs to function.

    As an example, just look at the "Buddy" bots, no pre-included profiles, its all community generated.

    Not to mention grinding mobs in this game is the worst way to possibly level, slower then all hell. This bot is basically worthless, since you don't get jack shit for drops and the damn thing can't sell them either. Plus 1 level per night in the teens? Thats rediculous it takes me 20 minutes to get a level playing by hand with quests in the teens. I imagine it would take about 3-4 days to level 59-60 at that rate.

    Considering how long this bot has been out for this game, and they still haven't improved it, I doubt its going to get much better either.
    Last edited by FattyXP; 06-24-2013 at 01:35 AM.

  3. #3
    glorfindelrw's Avatar Private
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    Originally Posted by FattyXP View Post
    So far, I think its the only option anyways. But honestly not many bots at all come with predetermined paths for any game, simply because its a huge amount of dev time for people that likely don't even play the game or have max level characters. Bot systems like this are all just bot frameworks modified to work with a specific game, and the developers of these bots rarely actually play these games. The only time spent in game is used to find the memory locations the bot needs to function.

    As an example, just look at the "Buddy" bots, no pre-included profiles, its all community generated.

    Not to mention grinding mobs in this game is the worst way to possibly level, slower then all hell. This bot is basically worthless, since you don't get jack shit for drops and the damn thing can't sell them either. Plus 1 level per night in the teens? Thats rediculous it takes me 20 minutes to get a level playing by hand with quests in the teens. I imagine it would take about 3-4 days to level 59-60 at that rate.

    Considering how long this bot has been out for this game, and they still haven't improved it, I doubt its going to get much better either.
    Failing to spend the time to generate pathing and fine tune your bot is fine if it is free, but not doing so and charging money for it is lame. Few bots are as fast as a human at leveling, the point is that they can do it on multiple accounts at the same time while you do something else, which is why the getting stuck is a big problem. I agree that there are far less benefits to botting this game than with most others though.

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